Creating 3D-Printed Anisotropic Media for Use in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance


  • Elizabeth Yielding


Various Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) techniques contribute to the determination of protein and small molecule structures. The use of Residual Dipolar Couplings in structural determinations requires a specialized anisotropic media based on solvated gel polymers. They typically take weeks to be ready for use and when combined with limited suppliers using these polymers can be costly. A 3D printed polymer substitute reduces cost and can vastly reduce the time between product creation and testing. The objective of this project was to create a 3D printed orienting media that contains many microscopic channels, allowing for the suspension of analyte molecules in an anisotropic environment. A 3D model file was created and produced in a resin 3D printer to create candidate orienting media. These were then used to obtain several NMR spectra in deuterated chloroform. Optimal solvent wash conditions were determined to avoid polymer cracking; pore size dimension and polymer compression were also explored to determine their impact on the orienting effects as measured in NMR. Moving forward, 3D printed polymers demonstrate promise as an alternative orienting media.