Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is a powerful analytical tool that has found increasing use in the biomedical sciences over the past few decades. In particular, NMR spectroscopy has been used to study the structure and function of biomolecules, to investigate the metabolism of cells and tissues, and to probe the molecular basis of disease.
The most common type of NMR spectroscopy used in the biomedical sciences is proton (1H) NMR spectroscopy. This is because water, which is the major component of all biological tissues, contains a large number of protons (hydrogen atoms). The magnetic properties of protons give rise to the NMR signal, and by measuring the intensity and chemical shift of this signal, it is possible to obtain detailed information about the structure and dynamics of biomolecules.
In recent years, advances in NMR spectroscopy hardware and software have made it possible to obtain high-resolution NMR spectra of biomolecules in solution. This has led to the development of a number of new NMR methods that are particularly well suited to the study of biomolecules. For example, NMR spectroscopy can now be used to determine the three-dimensional structure of proteins and other biomolecules.
The use of NMR spectroscopy in the biomedical sciences is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, as new applications are developed and the technique becomes more widely available.