Category Archives: Glassy Solvents

Contrasting effects of glycerol and DMSO on lipid membrane surface hydration dynamics and forces #DNPNMR #ODNP

Schrader, Alex M., Chi-Yuan Cheng, Jacob N. Israelachvili, and Songi Han. “Communication: Contrasting Effects of Glycerol and DMSO on Lipid Membrane Surface Hydration Dynamics and Forces.” The Journal of Chemical Physics 145, no. 4 (July 28, 2016): 041101.

Glycerol and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) are commonly used cryoprotectants in cellular systems, but due to the challenges of measuring the properties of surface-bound solvent, fundamental questions remain regarding the concentration, interactions, and conformation of these solutes at lipid membrane surfaces. We measured the surface water diffusivity at gel-phase dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) bilayer surfaces in aqueous solutions containing ≤7.5 mol. % of DMSO or glycerol using Overhauser dynamic nuclear polarization. We found that glycerol similarly affects the diffusivity of water near the bilayer surface and that in the bulk solution (within 20%), while DMSO substantially increases the diffusivity of surface water relative to bulk water. We compare these measurements of water dynamics with those of equilibrium forces between DPPC bilayers in the same solvent mixtures. DMSO greatly decreases the range and magnitude of the repulsive forces between the bilayers, whereas glycerol increases it. We propose that the differences in hydrogen bonding capability of the two solutes leads DMSO to dehydrate the lipid head groups, while glycerol affects surface hydration only as much as it affects the bulk water properties. The results suggest that the mechanism of the two most common cryoprotectants must be fundamentally different: in the case of DMSO by decoupling the solvent from the lipid surface, and in the case of glycerol by altering the hydrogen bond structure and intermolecular cohesion of the global solvent, as manifested by increased solvent viscosity.

Effect of water/glycerol polymorphism on dynamic nuclear polarization #DNPNMR

Leavesley, Alisa, Christopher B. Wilson, Mark Sherwin, and Songi Han. “Effect of Water/Glycerol Polymorphism on Dynamic Nuclear Polarization.” Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 20, no. 15 (April 18, 2018): 9897–9903.

A paramount feature of robust experimental methods is acquiring consistent data. However, in dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP), it has been observed that the DNP-induced NMR signal enhancement of nominally the same sample can vary between different experimental sessions. We investigated the impact of various freezing conditions on the DNP results for a standard sample, a 50/40/10 by volume d8-glycerol/D2O/H2O solution of 40 mM 4-amino TEMPO, and found that annealing the samples 10 K above the glass transition temperature (Tg) causes significant changes to the DNP profiles and enhancements compared to that in rapidly frozen samples. When varying the glycerol composition to yield a solution of 60/30/10 d8-glycerol/D2O/H2O, the DNP performance became markedly more consistent, even for samples prepared under vastly different sample freezing methods, in stark contrast with that of the 50/40/10 solution. The EPR lineshapes, Tm, and glass transition temperature, Tg, were measured under the same sample and experimental conditions as used for the DNP experiments to support the conclusion that different freezing methods change the distribution of 4-amino TEMPO radials in the 50/40/10 solution due to the formation of different polymorphs of the glass, which is mitigated in the 60/30/10 solution and is consistent with the water/glycerol vitrification literature.

Anisotropic longitudinal electronic relaxation affects DNP at cryogenic temperatures #DNPNMR

Weber, E.M.M., et al., Anisotropic longitudinal electronic relaxation affects DNP at cryogenic temperatures. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017. 19(24): p. 16087-16094.

We report the observation of anisotropic longitudinal electronic relaxation in nitroxide radicals under typical dynamic nuclear polarization conditions. This anisotropy affects the efficiency of dynamic nuclear polarization at cryogenic temperatures of 4 K and high magnetic fields of 6.7 T. Under our experimental conditions, the electron paramagnetic resonance spectrum of nitroxides such as TEMPOL (4-hydroxy-2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidin-1-oxyl) is only partly averaged by electronic spectral diffusion, so that the relaxation times T1e(omega) vary across the spectrum. We demonstrate how the anisotropy of T1e(omega) can be taken into account in simple DNP models.

Expeditious dissolution dynamic nuclear polarization without glassing agents

Lama, B., et al., Expeditious dissolution dynamic nuclear polarization without glassing agents. NMR Biomed, 2016. 29(3): p. 226-31.

The hyperpolarization of metabolic substrates at low temperature using dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP), followed by rapid dissolution and injection into an MRSI or NMR system, allows in vitro or in vivo observation and tracking of biochemical reactions and metabolites in real time. This article describes an elegant approach to sample preparation which is broadly applicable for the rapid polarization of aqueous small-molecule substrate solutions and obviates the need for glassing agents. We demonstrate its utility for solutions of sodium acetate, pyruvate and butyrate. The polarization behavior of substrates prepared using rapid freezing without glassing agents enabled a 1.5-3-fold time savings in polarization buildup, whilst removing the need for toxic glassing agents used as standard for dissolution DNP. The achievable polarization with fully aqueous substrate solutions was equal to that observed using standard approaches and glassing agents. Copyright (c) 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Have a question?

If you have questions about our instrumentation or how we can help you, please contact us.