Ruthenium complexes studied by NMR

Mononuclear ruthenium compounds bearing N-donor and N-heterocyclic carbene ligands: structure and oxidative catalysis
Hai Jie Liu,   M. Gil-Sepulcre,   L. Francás,   P. Nolis,   T. Parella,   J. Benet-Buchholz,   X. Fontrodona,   J. García-Antón,   N. Romero,   A. Llobet,   Ll. Escriche,   R. Bofill and   X. Sala
Dalton Trans., 2017, Accepted Manuscript

DOI: 10.1039/C6DT04729G

ABSTRACT A new CNNC carbene-phthalazine tetradentate ligand has been synthesised, which under reaction with [Ru(T)Cl3] (T = trpy, tpm, bpea; trpy = 2,2′;6′,2″-terpyridine; tpm = tris(pyrazol-1-yl)methane; bpea = N,N-bis(pyridin-2-ylmethyl)ethanamine) in MeOH or iPrOH undergoes a C-N bond scission due to the nucleophilic attack of a solvent molecule, with the subsequent formation of the mononuclear complexes cis-[Ru(PhthaPz-OR)(trpy)X]n+, [Ru(PhthaPz-OMe)(tpm)X]n+ and trans,fac-[Ru(PhthaPz-OMe)(bpea)X]n+ (X = Cl, n = 1; X = H2O, n = 2; PhthaPz-OR = 1-(4-alkoxyphthalazin-1-yl)-3-methyl-1H-imidazol-3-ium), named 1a+/2a2+ (R = Me), 1b+/2b2+ (R = iPr), 3+/42+ and 5+/62+, respectively. Interestingly, regulation of the stability regions of the different Ru oxidation states is obtained by the different ligand combinations, going from 62+, where Ru(III) is clearly stable and mono-electronic transfers are favoured, to 2a2+/2b2+, where Ru(III) is almost unstable with regards to its disproportion. The catalytic performance of the Ru-OH2 complexes in chemical water oxidation at pH 1.0 points to poor stability (ligand oxidation), with subsequent evolution of CO2 together with O2, especially for 42+ and 62+. In electrochemically driven water oxidation, the highest TOF values are obtained for 2a2+ at pH 1.0. In alkene epoxidation, complexes favouring bi-electronic transfer processes show better performances and selectivities than those favouring mono-electronic transfers, while alkenes containing electron-donor groups promote better performances than those bearing electron-withdrawers. Finally, when cis-β-methylstyrene is employed as substrate, no cis/trans isomerization takes place, thus indicating the existence of a stereospecific process.

Discrimination of stereoisomers with RDCs

“Structural discrimination from in-situ measurement of 1DCH and 2DHH RDCs” by Núria Marcó,  R. R. Gil and Teodor Parella. Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry 2017, DOI: 10.1002/mrc.4575

A fast RDC-assisted strategy involving the simultaneous determination of scalar and total coupling constants from a single 1JCH/2JHH-resolved NMR spectrum is reported. It is shown that the concerted use of the directly measured 1DCH (for all CHn multiplicities) and 2DHH residual dipolar couplings allows an on-the-fly assignment of diastereotopic CH2 protons, as well as of an efficient discrimination between all eight possible diastereoisomeric structures of strychnine, which contains six stereocenters.

Pulse Programs Code for Bruker:

Data set Example:

Extraction of 1JCH for all carbon multiplicities.

“Perfect 1JCH-resolved HSQC: Efficient measurement of one-bond proton-carbon coupling constants along the indirect dimension” by Núria Marcó, A.A. Souza,  Pau Nolis, R. R. Gil and Teodor ParellaJournal of Magnetic resonance 2017, 276, 37-42. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmr.2017.01.002

A versatile 1JCH-resolved HSQC pulse scheme for the speedy, accurate and automated determination of one-bond proton-carbon coupling constants is reported. The implementation of a perfectBIRD element allows a straightforward measurement from the clean doublets obtained along the highly resolved F1 dimension, even for each individual 1JCHa and 1JCHb in diastereotopic HaCHb methylene groups. Real-time homodecoupling during acquisition and other alternatives to minimize accidental signal overlapping in overcrowded spectra are also discussed.

Pulse Programs Code for Bruker:

Data set Example:

New interface to visualize and determine 1JCH

 1JCH NMR Profile: Identification of key structural features and functionalities by visual observation and direct measurement of one-bond proton-carbon coupling constants” by Núria Marcó, A.A. Souza,  Pau Nolis, Carlos Cobas, R. R. Gil and Teodor ParellaJournal of Organic Chemistry 2017, 276 : 37.42. DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.6b02873 

A user-friendly NMR interface for the visual and accurate determination of experimental one-bond proton-carbon coupling constants (1JCH) in small molecules is presented. This intuitive 1JCH profile correlates directly delta(1H) and 1JCH facilitates the rapid identification and assignment of 1H signals belonging to key structural elements and functional groups. Illustrative examples are provided for some target molecules including terminal alkynes, strained rings, electronegative substituents or lone-pair bearing heteronuclei.



PhD Thesis: Edició crítica dels escolis al cant IX de l’Odissea, by Esperança Ramírez Sevilla

Last December, Esperança Ramírez, our facility secretary, defended her PhD Thesis entitled: “Edició crítica dels escolis al cant IX de l’Odissea” (Critical Edition of the Scholia to the Odyssey Book IX). The thesis defense took place at 11am on Friday 16 December in the Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres of Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Scholia (singular scholium or scholion, from Ancient Greek: σχόλιον, “comment, interpretation”) are grammatical, critical, or explanatory comments, either original or extracted from pre-existing commentaries, which are inserted on the margin of the manuscript of an ancient author, as glosses.
Scholia definition in the Wikipedia

In her doctoral dissertation she does a thorough, critical and updated edition of the scholia to the Odyssey Book IX, including the scholia regarded as minor as well as the major scholia. This book and the following three books are collectively referred to as the apologoi: Odysseus’ “stories”, and they have attracted the attention of scholars of Homer works of all times.

To carry out her research work, she had to systematically analyse and challenge previous editions that, in full or in part, included scholia from the Odyssey Book IX, and, on the other hand, she had to decide the corpus of manuscripts that she would study, which was finally set to 37 from different typologies and genetic filiations.

Odyssey greek manuscript
Example of a handwritten manuscript studied in this thesis, the text of the Odyseey is on the left column, major scholia (comments) are on the right column, and minor scholia are interspersed in between the lines of the Odyssey text.

It stands out the methodological novelty of classifying the scholia according to their content: related to the titles, dedicated to argument summaries, focused on lexicographic aspects, contextual or mythographic. This classification, on top of helping to understand the content of each scholium, offers too an interesting view of the filiation of manuscripts.

Her goal was to offer a body of data encompassing the scholia, the annotations and also the most significant corrections of the Homeric text. In that corpus there are several types of content, from multiple versions of myths to words that must be construed, including syntactic expressions or morphological annotations.

The thesis is available for download from TESEO, the official repository of Spanish doctoral dissertations.

A translation of the Odyssey to English by A.T. Murray (1919) can be read on-line at the Classical Texts Library and another translation by Samuel Butler at The Internet Classics Archive. Also, if you are curious, you can hear how Homer’s Odyssey sounded in the original ancient greek, and if you dare so, you can take a free 64-lessons course to learn ancient greek.

Solving JHH measurement in overcrowded regions

Accurate measurement of JHH in overlapped signals by a TOCSY-edited SERF Experiment

André Fredi, Pau Nolis* and Teodor Parella*

Magnetic Resonance in ChemistryDOI: 10.1002/mrc.4572

Selective Refocusing (GSERF or the recent PSYCHEDELIC) experiments were originally designed to determine all proton-proton coupling constants (JHH) for a selected proton resonance. They work for isolated signals on which selective excitation can be successfully applied but, as happens in other selective experiments, fail for overlapped signals. To circumvent this limitation, a doubly-selective TOCSY-GSERF scheme is presented for the measurement of JHH in protons resonating in crowded regions. This new experiment takes advantage of the editing features of an initial TOCSY transfer to uncover hidden resonances that become accessible to perform the subsequent frequency-selective refocusing.

Organogels studied by NMR

Studies on cycloalkane‐based bisamide organogelators: A new example of stochastic chiral symmetry breaking induced by sonication

Ortuno, R. M., Pi-Boleda, B., Sans, M., Campos, M., Nolis, P., Illa, O., Estévez, J. C. and Branchadell, V. (2016), Chem. Eur. J.. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1002/chem.201604818

Enantiomerically pure C16-alkyl amides derived from cis and trans cycloalkane-1,2-dicarboxylic acids, respectively, have been synthesized and their behaviour as organogelators has been investigated. These compounds include cis/trans diastereomeric cyclobutane and cyclohexane derivatives with the aim to explore the influence of the ring size as well as the relative configuration in their hierarchical self-assembly to form gels. High resolution 1H NMR spectroscopy studies allowed the determination of the dynamics of the gelation process in [D8]-toluene and the sol-gel transition temperature. The morphology and size of the aggregates have been investigated and results have shown that, in the case of cyclobutane derivatives, the cis/trans stereochemistry is not relevant for the gelation behaviour and the properties of the soft-materials obtained, but it is remarkable for cyclohexane diamides, which are better organogelators. The four compounds produce chiral aggregates despite that two of them are meso achiral molecules. We show in this work that this fact is an example of stochastic symmetry breaking induced by sonication. The self-assembly of these molecules has been modelled providing information and support about the structure and the chirality of the aggregates.

RDC measurements and application

joceah_v081i019.inddApplication to the structural discrimination of small molecules containing multiple stereocenters. One-Shot determination of residual dipolar couplings.
Castañar, L.; Garcia, M.; Hellemann, E.; Nolis, P.; Gil, R.; Parella, T.


A novel approach for the fast and efficient structural discrimination of molecules containing multiple stereochemical centers is described. A robust Jresolved HSQC experiment affording highly resolved 1JCH/1TCHsplittings along the indirect dimension and homodecoupled 1H signals in the detected dimension is proposed. The experiment enables in-situ distinction of both isotropic and anisotropic components of molecules dissolved incompressed PMMA gels, allowing a rapid and direct one-shot determination of accurate residual dipolar coupling constants from a single NMR spectrum



10th Workshop on Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Imaging (MRI/MRS) Applied to Laboratory Animals

Workshop dates: November 29th – December 2nd, 2016
Registration deadline: November 14th, 2016
Registration: REGISTRATION CLOSED  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.20161001_10cursomrimrs

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

Mycobacteria clumping increase their capacity to damage macrophages



“Mycobacteria clumping increase their capacity to damage macrophages” by C. Brambilla, M. Llorens-Fons, E. Julián, E. Noguera-Ortega, C. Tomàs-Martínez, M. Pérez-Trujillo, T. F. Byrd, F. Alcaide and M. Luquin.

Front. Microbiol. 7:1562.  DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.01562

The rough morphotypes of non-tuberculous mycobacteria have been associated with the most severe illnesses in humans. This idea is consistent with the fact that Mycobacterium tuberculosis presents a stable rough morphotype. Unlike smooth morphotypes, the bacilli of rough morphotypes grow close together, leaving no spaces among them and forming large aggregates (clumps). Currently, the initial interaction of macrophages with clumps remains unclear. Thus, we infected J774 macrophages with bacterial suspensions of rough morphotypes of Mycobacterium abscessus containing clumps and suspensions of smooth morphotypes, primarily containing isolated bacilli. Using confocal laser scanning microscopy and electron microscopy, we observed clumps of at least 5 rough-morphotype bacilli inside the phagocytic vesicles of macrophages at 3 hours post-infection. These clumps grew within the phagocytic vesicles, killing 100% of the macrophages at 72 hours post-infection, whereas the proliferation of macrophages infected with smooth morphotypes remained unaltered at 96 hours post-infection. Thus, macrophages phagocytose large clumps, exceeding the bactericidal capacities of these cells. Furthermore, proinflammatory cytokines and granuloma-like structures were only produced by macrophages infected with rough morphotypes. Thus, the present study provides a foundation for further studies that consider mycobacterial clumps as virulence factors.


Figure. Content of GPL and structure of mycolic acids. (A) 1-D TLC analysis of the crude lipid extracts of M. abscessus strains. (B) 1H-NMR spectra of purified mycolic acid methyl esters from M. abscessus. (C) Relative molar ratios of molecular moieties cis-db, trans-db, cis-cp and trans-cp of mycolic acid methyl esters from M. abscessus.