NIH Funds Development of THz resonator for solid-state DNP-NMR Probes

Press Release

NIH Funds Development of THz resonator for solid-state DNP-NMR Probes

SBIR Grant Awarded to Bridge12 for Dynamic Nuclear Polarization

Framingham, Mass. – July 18th, 2013 – Bridge12 Technologies, a leading provider of terahertz (THz) technology for applications in science, medicine, security, and defense, announces it has received a National Institute of Health’s small business innovation research (SBIR) grant for the development of a THz resonator for solid-state DNP-NMR probes. Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP) can increase the sensitivity of a NMR experiment by several orders of magnitude, accelerating experiments that typically require weeks to complete in minutes.

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is used broadly across many disciplines, such as analytical chemistry, structural biology or drug discovery and scientists that are using NMR are often challenged by the low sensitivity of NMR, which slows down research and increases research costs.

In recent years, Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP) has proven to be vastly successful in increasing sensitivity in solid-state NMR experiments, achieving enhancement factors of > 180 at 400 MHz (1H Larmor Frequency) corresponding to a factor of 32,400 in time savings. In other words, an experiment that would otherwise run for three weeks can be performed in less than a minute. This significantly increased overall sensitivity accelerates experiments for analytical applications of NMR spectroscopy as well as the structural characterization of bio-macromolecules or pharmaceutical drug discovery.

The new Bridge12 research is focused on the development of a THz resonator for DNP-NMR probes to make more efficient use of the THz power and it is expected that the required THz power can be significantly reduced compared to current experiments. This technology will be of great advantage for researchers that currently use low-power, solid-state THz sources for DNP experiments and will pave the way for using alternative THz sources. The first prototype probe will be designed to operate at an NMR spectrometer frequency of 400 MHz but the technology is expected to work at NMR frequencies above 600 MHz.

“No THz resonance structures are currently used in DNP-NMR probes” says Dr. Thorsten Maly, a Bridge12 co-founder and principal investigator for the project. “The common assumption is that the size of a fundamental-mode resonator is too small to accommodate sample sizes that are typically used in ssNMR spectroscopy. As a consequence, high-power THz radiation is required to drive the DNP process efficiently. We are extremely excited that NIH decided to sponsor this project. This program is an excellent addition to ongoing research efforts at Bridge12 to develop compact THz sources and to revolutionize the field of DNP-NMR spectroscopy with cost-effective instrumentation.”

“Sensitivity has always been a major problem in NMR spectroscopy and DNP has proven that it can overcome this hurdle,” says Dr. Jagadishwar Sirigiri, a Bridg12 founder and principal investigator for the project. “Using a THz resonator to increase the THz induced magnetic fields at the position of the sample will make much better use of the available THz power and has the potential to replace existing high-power sources.”

The SBIR grant was awarded from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), part of the National Institute of Health (NIH), in the amount of US$ 224,752 over a one-year period.

About Bridge12

Bridge12 Technologies develops terahertz technology for applications in science, medicine, security and defense. Overcoming current technology barriers, the company closes the ‘terahertz gap’ with compact sources that are powerful, efficient, and rapidly deployable. Bridge12 Technologies’ solutions help accelerate scientific research, protect national security, and fight terminal diseases.

Bridge12 is a high-tech start-up founded by former scientists of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Its scientific team has over a decade of expertise in high-frequency terahertz (THz) sources such as gyrotrons, microwave technology, and magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The executive team combines know-how of over 3 decades in project management, information technology, health care, and consumer products. For more information, visit


Media Contact Information

Dr. Thorsten Maly
Director, Bridge12 Technologies, Inc.
Phone: +1 (617) 615-9332

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