Category Archives: Our Research

These are short reports about the research activities carried out at the SeRMN.
In them we describe the work done in collaboration with research groups, to summarize communications presented at scientific meetings, to report visits and stages at other laboratories or facilities, and to comment the meetings and workshops we have attended.

Job offer at CIBER for the INSPiRE-MED project

We are recruiting an Early Stage Researcher to work on a decision-support system based on MRSI data at 3T, for glioblastoma therapy response follow- up, as part of the INSPiRE-MED European project.

We seek a highly motivated and qualified individual as Early Stage Researcher for a three-year applied research project. The successful candidate will contribute to the development of advanced biomedical research tools in the field of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Imaging, and its application to the clinical day-to-day practice.

Project description: This position is one of the 15 ESR positions of the INSPiRE-MED European Training Network, which focuses on the development of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) and MR Spectroscopic Imaging (MRSI) combined with Positron Emission Tomography (PET), enhanced by machine learning techniques.

The main aim of the PhD project (ESR12) will be development of a Machine Learning medical decision-support system based on MRSI data at 3T, for glioblastoma therapy response follow-up.

The ESR will develop a novel medical decision support system (MDSS) focused on glioblastoma therapy response follow-up, based on magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) data, able to take and process data from multiple MRSI formats and centres. For each patient’s MRSI, the MDSS should deliver a nosological or classification image, ready to be fused with images of other MR modalities from the same patient. The DSS will be integrated into the interface of the academic version of jMRUI, in a way that allows clinicians evaluate the system with their data. An important part of of the project will be the incorporation of automated MRSI artifact detection and removal tools.

Continue reading Job offer at CIBER for the INSPiRE-MED project

SeRMN contribution at SMASH 2019

Kumar Motiram-Corral presented a poster titled “Implementing one-shot multiple-FID acquisition into homonuclear and heteronuclear NMR experiments” at SMASH 19 in Porto (Portugal).

To date, time-efficient approaches are a challenged task for spectroscopists.  The goal is to obtain chemical information reducing experimental time without considerably losing of sensitivity.

Different time-efficient approaches have been described over the years.  Time sharing (Parella et. al.) tactic acquires the 15N and 13C nuclei in the same spectrum in spectrometers which have a triple channel hardware configuration[1].  Non-Uniform Sampling (NUS) [2] algorithm has achieved a substantial reduction of experimental time reducing the number of t1 increments needed by multidimensional experiments.  Recently, NOAH [3] (NMR by ordered Acquisition using 1H detection) has been developed by Kupče (Bruker Co.) and Claridge (University of Oxford) provides the way to get proper experiments in different spectra with the same spectral quality.

[4]MFA (Multiple FID Acquisition) consists in obtaining up to four different experiments decreasing close to 60% of time.  MFA provides a new novel proof concept of COSY, TOCSY and HMBC experiments in small molecules.  Actually, MFA strategy was proposed many years ago with the COCONOSY experiment [5-7],  which could be collected 2D COSY and NOESY data with a single pulse scheme.  [4]MFA has also been implemented in magic-angle-spinning solid-state NMR experiments devoted for biomacromolecules using standard spectrometer configuration.  Despite its limitations related to the use of long acquisition of free-induction decays (FIDs) to accurately digitalize the data and the mandatory use of long phase cycles for convenient pathway selection, nowadays, the use of pulsed field gradients (PFGs) is the solution for this drawback.  [4]MFA is based on the relaxation of the remaining transverse magnetization, which usually relaxes to its original magnetization, can be manipulated by an appropriate additional mixing process and recorded again to obtain a second or third NMR data provided that T2 (transverse relaxation times) are long enough.  [4]Its main advantage is that each experiment is acquired in a different display.  [4]MFA is a powerful experiment for the sequential structural assignment of a whole spin system without ambiguities.  This method is also useful for selective experiments as SE-TOCSY.

References: 

  1. Nolis, P., Pérez, M., & Parella, T. (2006). Time-sharing evolution and sensitivity enhancements in 2D HSQC-TOCSY and HSQMBC experiments. Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry, 44, 11, 1031-1036, 2006
  2. K. Kazimierczuk and V. Y. Orekhov , Angew. Chem., Int. Ed., 2011, 50 , 5556 -5559
  3. Kupče, E., & Claridge, T. D. W. (2018). Molecular structure from a single NMR supersequence. Chemical Communications, 54, 7139-7142, 2018.
  4. Motiram-Corral, K., Pérez-Trujillo, M., Nolis, P., & Parella, T. (2018). Implementing one-shot multiple-FID acquisition into homonuclear and heteronuclear NMR experiments. Chemical Communications, 54(96), 13507–13510, 2018.
  5. A. Z. Gurevich , I. L. Barsukov , A. S. Arseniev and V. F. Bystrov , J. Magn. Reson., 56, 471 -478, 1984. 
  6. C. A. G. Haasnoot , F. J. M. van de Ven and C. W. Hilbers , J. Magn. Reson.56 , 343 -349, 1984. 
  7. J. Cavanagh and M. Rance , J. Magn. Reson., 14 , 408 -414, 1990. 

Measuring Long-Range Heteronuclear Coupling Constants with Sel-HSQMBC Experiments: A Tutorial

How to measure long‐range proton‐carbon coupling constants from 1H‐selective HSQMBC experiments, by Josep Saurí, Pau Nolis and Teodor Parella. Magn. Reson. Chem. 2019. Early View, DOI: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mrc.4928

Heteronuclear long‐range scalar coupling constants (nJCH) are a valuable tool for solving problems in organic chemistry and are especially suited for stereochemical and configurational analyses of small molecules and natural products. This tutorial will focus on the step‐by‐step implementation of several 2D 1H frequency selective HSQMBC experiments for the easy and accurate measurement of either the magnitude or both the magnitude and the sign of long‐range nJCH couplings. The performance of these experiments will be showcased with several scenarios in a range of different experimental conditions.

Bruker pulse program code for selHSQMBC experiments available here.

Bruker pulse program code for selHSQMBC-TOCSY experiment available here.

Strychnine dataset examples available here.

SeRMN contributions at ISMAR EUROMAR 2019 Conference

Some of the SeRMN staff will present our last research works at the annual meeting of the European magnetic resonance community ISMAR EUROMAR 2019 Conference that will take place from 25th to 30th August in Berlin. Find below a summary of our contributions.

Pau Nolis presents a poster entitled “Reducing experimental time using Multiple Fid Acquisition (MFA) strategy” (P341). Pau Nolis, Kumar Motiram-Corral, Miriam Pérez-Trujillo, Teodor Parella.

Speeding-up NMR molecular analysis is an important research field which has been continuously advancing since NMR early days. The relevant benefits are clear and evident: reduce the time per analysis directly reduce its cost and gaining spectrometer time to analyze new samples. Many interesting tools and concepts have been appearing in last decades. Concretely, our experience focuses on the development of new NMR experiments using TS (Time-Shared), SA (Spectral Aliasing) and MFA (Multiple Fid Acquisition). MFA strategy is an interesting strategy that allows the acquisition of different structural information in a single experiment. Basically, MFA experiments consist in the design of pulse sequence experiments which accommodate several acquisition windows per experi-ment, each registering different relevant information for the structural molecular character-ization. The methodology brings a corresponding important time benefit. Last year, we have reported several new NMR experiments designed with MFA stratey and herein we would present the most relevant achievements. The overall discussion will be mainly focused on the sensitivity gains per time unit of the presented experiments.

Eva Monteagudo presents a poster entitled “Enantiodifferentiation Study of Spiroglycol Chirality” (P306). Eva Monteagudo, Albert Virgili, Teodor Parella, Carles Jaime.

The 3,9-bis(1,1-dimethyl-2-hydroxyethyl)-2,4,8,10-tetraoxaspiro[5.5]undecane commonly named pentaspiroglycol (PSG) or spiroglycol (SPG) is a high molecular weight rigid alicy-clic diol widely used in the chemical industry. SPG has no hazardous classification, it is not mutagenic and is a safe alternative to Bisphenol A, a well-known chemical which is rising concern due to his proved endocrine disruptor activity. Moreover, some of the SPG main applications are focused on epoxy resins, liquid polyester resins, radiation curing resins and in polymer film material field. However, the spiroglycol structure, configuration and conformation have never been deeply studied. Herein, we perform for the first time a preliminary NMR and computational study of the spiroglycol structure. SPG is a highly symmetrical molecule but it should be chiral due to the presence of a chiral axis. The presence of two enantiomers was demonstrated per-forming NMR enantiodifferentiation experiments using α,α’-bis(trifluoromethyl)-9,10-an-thracenedimethanol (ABTE) as chiral solvating agent (CSA). The addition of 0.6 equivalents of ABTE allows the differentiation of several spiroglycol proton signals. The lack of resolu-tion observed in the proton spectrum can be tackled through the corresponding 13C NMR spectrum where a significant enantiodifferentiation at the spirocarbon atom was observed.In order to physically separate both enantiomers, a SPG derivatization with camphor-sulphonic acid was performed affording the corresponding diastereoisomeric ester mixture.

Kumar Motiram-Corral, PhD student at SeRMN, participates in the “Novena Edició de les Jornades Doctorals” by Dept. of Chemistry, UAB.

The 23rd May 2019 at 12:45, Sala d’Actes de la Facultat de Ciències de la UAB, I will present my work on “Implementing one-shot multiple-FID acquisition into homonuclear and heteronuclear NMR experiments” at the Novena Edició de les Jornades Doctorals by the PhD Chemistry Program and the Chemistry Department (Meeting program).

Job offer for the INSPiRE-MED project

This job offer has expired

Official call by Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Deadline for submissions: 21/5/2019 at 23:00

See UAB and/or Euraxess advertisements for further information about the position and how to apply.

We are recruiting an Early Stage Researcher to work on the implementation of high-resolution MRSI methods in a pre-clinical scanner as part of the INSPiRE-MED European project.

We seek a highly motivated and qualified individual as Early Stage Researcher for a three-year applied research project. The successful candidate will contribute to the development of advanced biomedical research tools in the field of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Imaging, and its application to the clinical day-to-day practice.

Project description: This position is one of the 15 ESR positions of the INSPiRE-MED European Training Network, which focuses on the development of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) and MR Spectroscopic Imaging (MRSI) combined with Positron Emission Tomography (PET), enhanced by machine learning techniques.

The main aim of the PhD project (ESR4) will be the implementation of innovative high spatial resolution MRSI methods in a pre-clinical scanner. The ultimate goal will be the validation of optimal methods for improving imaging biomarker development of brain tumour in longitudinal studies of therapy response in mouse glioblastoma models. The project will involve evaluation of the methodology performance limits, repeatability and reproducibility compared to stock Bruker Biospec MRSI sequences and the assessment of speed-up MRSI methods in a 7-Tesla pre-clinical scanner.

Continue reading Job offer for the INSPiRE-MED project

Job offer at CIBER for the INSPiRE-MED project

We are recruiting an Early Stage Researcher to work on a decision-support system based on MRSI data at 3T, for glioblastoma therapy response follow- up,as part of the INSPiRE-MED European project.

We seek a highly motivated and qualified individual as Early Stage Researcher for a three-year applied research project. The successful candidate will contribute to the development of advanced biomedical research tools in the field of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Imaging, and its application to the clinical day-to-day practice.

Project description: This position is one of the 15 ESR positions of the INSPiRE-MED European Training Network, which focuses on the development of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) and MR Spectroscopic Imaging (MRSI) combined with Positron Emission Tomography (PET), enhanced by machine learning techniques.

The main aim of the PhD project (ESR12) will be development of a Machine Learning medical decision-support system based on MRSI data at 3T, for glioblastoma therapy response follow-up.

The ESR will develop a novel medical decision support system (MDSS) focused on glioblastoma therapy response follow-up, based on magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) data, able to take and process data from multiple MRSI formats and centres. For each patient’s MRSI, the MDSS should deliver a nosological or classification image, ready to be fused with images of other MR modalities from the same patient. The DSS will be integrated into the interface of the academic version of jMRUI, in a way that allows clinicians evaluate the system with their data. An important part of of the project will be the incorporation of automated MRSI artifact detection and removal tools.

Continue reading Job offer at CIBER for the INSPiRE-MED project

Rethinking COSY and TOCSY acquisition

Nolis, Pau & Teodor Parella. 2019. Practical aspects of the simultaneous collection of COSY and TOCSY spectra. Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry. DOI: 10.1002/mrc.4835

The practical aspects of some NMR experiments designed for the simultaneous acquisition of 2D COSY and 2D TOCSY spectra are presented and discussed. Several techniques involving afterglow‐based, CTP‐based and NOAH‐based strategies for the collection of different FIDs within the same scan are evaluated and compared. These methods offer a faster recording of these spectra in small‐molecule NMR when sensitivity is not a limiting factor, with a reduction in spectrometer time about 45%‐60% when compared to the conventional sequential acquisition of the parent experiments. It is also shown how the optimized design of an extended three‐FID approach yields one COSY and two TOCSY spectra simultaneously by combining CTP and NOAH principles in the same experiment, affording substantial sensitivity enhancements per time unit.