Biedenbänder, Thomas, Victoria Aladin, Siavash Saeidpour, and Björn Corzilius. “Dynamic Nuclear Polarization for Sensitivity Enhancement in Biomolecular Solid-State NMR.” Chemical Reviews, January 31, 2022.
Solid-state NMR with magic-angle spinning (MAS) is an important method in structural biology. While NMR can provide invaluable information about local geometry on an atomic scale even for large biomolecular assemblies lacking long-range order, it is often limited by low sensitivity due to small nuclear spin polarization in thermal equilibrium. Dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) has evolved during the last decades to become a powerful method capable of increasing this sensitivity by two to three orders of magnitude, thereby reducing the valuable experimental time from weeks or months to just hours or days; in many cases, this allows experiments that would be otherwise completely unfeasible. In this review, we give an overview of the developments that have opened the field for DNP-enhanced biomolecular solid-state NMR including state-of-the-art applications at fast MAS and high magnetic field. We present DNP mechanisms, polarizing agents, and sample constitution methods suitable for biomolecules. A wide field of biomolecular NMR applications is covered including membrane proteins, amyloid fibrils, large biomolecular assemblies, and biomaterials. Finally, we present perspectives and recent developments that may shape the field of biomolecular DNP in the future.