MRI/MRS in treated Alzheimer mice

Montoliu-Gaya, Laia, Jofre Güell-Bosch, Gisela Esquerda-Canals, Alejandro R. Roda, Gabriel Serra-Mir, Silvia Lope-Piedrafita, José Luís Sánchez-Quesada & Sandra Villegas. 2018. Differential effects of apoE and apoJ mimetic peptides on the action of an anti-Aβ scFv in 3xTg-AD mice. Biochemical Pharmacology 155. 380–392. DOI: 10.1016/j.bcp.2018.07.012

Anti-Aβ immunotherapy has emerged as a promising approach to treat Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The single-chain variable fragment scFv-h3D6 is an anti-Aβ antibody fragment that lacks the Fc region, which is associated with the induction of microglial reactivity by the full-length monoclonal antibody bapineuzumab. ScFv-h3D6 was previously shown to restore the levels of apolipoprotein E (apoE) and apolipoprotein J (apoJ) in a tripletransgenic- AD (3xTg-AD) mouse model. Since apoE and apoJ play an important role in the development of AD, we aimed to study the in vivo effect of the combined therapy of scFv-h3D6 with apoE and apoJ mimetic peptides (MPs).

Continue reading MRI/MRS in treated Alzheimer mice

Exopolysaccharides from olive brines could reduce the adhesion of ETEC K88 to intestinal epithelial cells

Zhu, Yanan, Gemma González-Ortiz, Rufino Jiménez-Díaz, Míriam Pérez-Trujillo, Teodor Parella, Paola López-Colom & Susana María Martín-Orúe. 2018. Exopolysaccharides from olive brines could reduce the adhesion of ETEC K88 to intestinal epithelial cells. Food & Function 9(7). 3884–3894. DOI:

This study aims to explore the biological functions of the isolated exopolysaccharides (EPSs) produced during the industrial fermentation of olives against enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) K88. Exopolysaccharides were isolated from five industrial fermenters. Analysis of their monosaccharide composition by GLC revealed that the main components were glucose (27%–50%) and galactose (23%–33%) followed by rhamnose (4–23%) and arabinose (6–17%). The 1H NMR spectrum showed a very similar profile between samples, and a more in-depth analysis revealed the presence of an α-pyranose in the form of α-D-Glcp-(1→) and two different α-furanoses, with chemicals shift values, suggesting the presence of α-D-Glcf and α-D-Galf. Miniaturized in vitro tests demonstrated the ability of EPS samples to attach specifically to ETEC K88 (P < 0.05) with variable intensities. The competition test did not show the ability to block the ETEC K88 adhesion to IPEC-J2 cells; however, in the displacement test, all EPS samples were shown to effectively remove the pathogens attached to the cells (P < 0.01).

These results suggest that the EPSs produced during the fermentation of table green olives could interfere with the attachment of opportunistic pathogens onto the intestinal epithelial cells. This would open the possibility of novel functional properties for this traditional Mediterranean fermented food and for the isolated EPSs as candidates for nutraceutics to be used in human and/or animal diets in the prevention and treatment of ETEC diarrhoea.

Solid State NMR supports a new study on hydride composite for hydrogen storage

Bergemann, N., C. Pistidda, C. Milanese, M. Aramini, S. Huotari, P. Nolis, A. Santoru, M. R. Chierotti, A.-L. Chaudhary, M. D. Baro, T. Klassen & M. Dornheim. 2018. A hydride composite featuring mutual destabilisation and reversible boron exchange: Ca(BH4)2–Mg2NiH4. Journal of Materials Chemistry A 6(37). 17929–17946. DOI: 10.1039/c8ta04748k

The system Ca(BH4)2–Mg2NiH4 is used as a model to prove the unique possibility to fully reverse the borohydride decomposition process even in cases where the decomposition reaction leads to undesired stable boron containing species (boron sinks). The formation of MgNi2.5B2 directly from Ca(BH4)2 or from CaB12H12 and amorphous boron allows an unexpectedly easy transfer of the boron atoms to reversibly form Ca(BH4)2 during rehydrogenation. In addition, to the best of our knowledge, the mutual destabilisation of the starting reactants is observed for the first time in Ca(BH4)2 based Reactive Hydride Composite (RHC) systems. A detailed account of dehydrogenation and rehydrogenation reaction mechanisms as the function of applied experimental conditions is given.

PhD Thesis: Development of Resolution-Enhanced NMR Techniques for Improved Small Molecules Structural Analysis

Last July 14th 2018 Núria Marcó defended her PhD Thesis entitled: Development of Resolution-Enhanced NMR Techniques for Improved Small Molecules Structural Analysis

The present doctoral thesis is framed within the field of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.

NMR spectroscopy is an analytic technique and, therefore, one of its main objectives is to unravel the correct structure of the molecules analyzed.This present doctoral thesis  is focused on this main objective. This work consists in a compendium of 7 publications, written in several prestigious scientific journals, that develop in depth the efficient and accurate determination of the constitution, configuration and conformation of small molecules thanks to the application of resolution improvements techniques.

Continue reading PhD Thesis: Development of Resolution-Enhanced NMR Techniques for Improved Small Molecules Structural Analysis

Solid-State-NMR a useful tool for the characterization of Hydrogen Storage Composite System

Karimi, Fahim, María V.C. Riglos, Antonio Santoru, Armin Hoell, Vikram S. Raghuwanshi, Chiara Milanese, Nils Bergemann, Claudio Pistidda, Pau Nolis , Maria D. Baro, Gökhan Gizer, Thi-Thu Le, P. Klaus Pranzas, Martin Dornheim, Thomas Klassen, Andreas Schrey & Julián Puszkiel. 2018. In Situ Formation of TiB2 Nanoparticles for Enhanced Dehydrogenation / Hydrogenation Reaction Kinetics of LiBH4–MgH2 as a Reversible Solid-State Hydrogen Storage Composite System. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 122(22). 11671–11681. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.8b02258

To enhance the dehydrogenation/rehydrogenation kinetic behavior of the LiBH4–MgH2 composite system, TiF4 is used as an additive. The effect of this additive on the hydride composite system has been studied by means of laboratory and advanced synchrotron techniques. Investigations on the synthesis and mechanism upon hydrogen interaction show that the addition of TiF4 to the LiBH4–MgH2 composite system during the milling procedure leads to the in situ formation of well-distributed nanosized TiB2 particles. These TiB2 nanoparticles act as nucleation agents for the formation of MgB2 upon dehydrogenation process of the hydride composite system. The effect of TiB2 nanoparticles is maintained upon cycling.  

11th Workshop on Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Imaging (MRI/MRS) Applied to Laboratory Animals

Workshop dates:June 25th – 28th, 2018
Registration deadline:June 10th, 2018
Registration:  online
Capacity:Workshop limited to 4 participants (first come, first served)
Contact person:Silvia Lope-Piedrafita, PhD (

This course combines a comprehensive series of lectures on the technology of Magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging (MRS/MRI) with hands-on laboratory sessions to provide practical demonstrations of key concepts and procedures for preclinical studies.

Whether you are considering MRI as a research tool in your lab or just would like to learn more about MRI, this workshop addresses practical aspects of experimental MRI with laboratory animals and provide valuable hands-on experience on a 7 Tesla Bruker BioSpec spectrometer.

See the workshop brochure for more information or contact Dr. Silvia Lope via email.

NEW BOOK RELEASE: “Preclinical MRI methods and protocols”

García Martín, María Luisa & Pilar López Larrubia (eds.). 2018. Preclinical MRI. Methods in Molecular Biology series. Springer New York. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7531-0

This book was conceived with the idea of providing an update on a wide variety of preclinical MRI methods and protocols to help technicians and researchers interested in this technology. The basics of MRI physics are introduced, followed by chapters describing updated methodology and protocols for some standard and more advanced MRI techniques covering diffusion, perfusion, functional imaging, in-vivo spectroscopy (proton and heteronuclear), susceptibility contrast MRI… The book also contains some chapters where some applications of those methods are illustrated in animal models of several diseases including cancer, stroke and neurodegeneration. Protocols are described in a step-by-step approach, with interesting notes and tips at the end of each chapter, which -a priori- should allow the new worker to obtain successful results with the first attempt ;o) .

PhD Thesis: New Applications of Covariance NMR and Experimental Development for Measurements of Homonuclear Coupling Constants in Overlapping Signals

On 21st March 2018 I sucessfully defended my PhD Thesis entitled: “New Applications of Covariance NMR and Experimental Development for Measurements of Homonuclear Coupling Constants in Overlapping Signals” (ISBN: 9788449079252), supervised by Dr. Teodor Parella and Dr. Pau Nolis, and obtained the degree of Ph.D. in Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

The thesis can be downloaded in PDF format from the TDX repository and from the TESEO repository.

Accurate measurement of proton homonuclear coupling constants in overlapped signals by using a doubly-selective TOCSY G-SERF experiment.


The experimental results obtained in this thesis are presented in the form of three papers published in NMR specialised scientific peer-reviewed journals.

  • Exploring the use of Generalized Indirect Covariance to Reconstruct Pure shift NMR Spectra: Current Pros and Cons. André Fredi, Pau Nolis, Carlos Cobas, Gary E. Martin and Teodor Parella. Journal of Magnetic Resonance, Volume 266, May 2016, Pages 16-22. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmr.2016.03.003
  • Access to experimentally infeasible spectra by pure-shift NMR covariance. André Fredi, Pau Nolis, Carlos Cobas and Teodor Parella. Journal of Magnetic Resonance, Volume 270, September 2016, Pages 161-168. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmr.2016.07.010
  • Accurate measurement of JHH in overlapped signals by a TOCSY‐edited SERF Experiment. André Fredi, Pau Nolis and Teodor Parella. Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry, Volume 55, Issue 6, June 2017, Pages 525-529. DOI: 10.1002/mrc.4572

The first two articles deal with the use of covariance NMR as a general method to generate novel psNMR spectra. The last work describes a new selTOCSY G-SERF experiment, for accurately measuring JHH in overlapped regions.

The first publication describes a novel general protocol to generate psNMR spectra by Covariance NMR. This new approach is unique in NMR spectroscopy; giving a cheap, fast an easy way to reconstruct psNMR spectra without spending time in the spectrometer. This new strategy has been referenced to as psNMR Covariance.

The concept of psNMR Covariance has been extended in the second publication by inserting Multiplicity-Edited (ME) information into 2D experiments that are difficult or even impossible to achieve experimentally. It is shown how the ME information can be efficiently transferred to a set of homonuclear and heteronuclear 2D NMR spectra by Covariance processing, reconstructing new psME spectra in a fast way. Finally, G-SERF and related methods only work for isolated 1H signals on which selective excitation can be successfully applied.

Unfortunately, as it happens in other frequency-selective experiments, this approach fails for overlapped signals. A doubly-selective TOCSY G-SERF scheme is presented in the third publication to circumvent this limitation, by measuring JHH efficiently even for protons resonating in crowded regions.

Recovering energy

As is tradition in Catalonia in February, the group of SeRMN got together to enjoy a Calçotada, eating the typical calçots (a type of scallion or green onion) well combined with a “Porró” (a traditional glass wine pitcher).

Simultaneous RCSA and RDC measurement

Marcó, Núria, Roberto R. Gil & Teodor Parella. 2018. Isotropic/Anisotropic NMR Editing by Resolution-Enhanced NMR Spectroscopy. ChemPhysChem 19(9). 1024–1029. DOI: 10.1002/cphc.201800094

Modern resolution-enhanced NMR techniques can monitor the in-situ discrimination of co-existing isotropic and anisotropic contributions of small molecules dissolved in weakly aligning PMMA/CDCl3 media. The simultaneous sign-sensitive determination of accurate Δδ(1H) and Δδ(13C) between isotropic and anisotropic signals,  and/or  1TCH and 1JCH coupling constants (and consequently 1H-13C RDCs and 1H/13C RCSAs) can be performed from spectral-aliased HSQC spectra.

Pulse Programs Code for Bruker: