19-Aug-2003 - Oxford Instruments plc

900MHz NMR magnet technology in Japan

Two of the world's most powerful NMR magnets have now been successfully installed at state-of-the-art NMR facilities in Japan. These are the latest 900MHz NMR superconducting magnets in its manufacturing pipeline that Oxford Instruments Superconductivity has shipped, installed and brought to field worldwide. Located at the heart of Varian's InovaTM 900MHz, NMR spectrometer and with a field strength of over 21 Tesla, the new magnets provide an increase in field strength of more than 11%, compared to previous generation systems. This is more than 400,000 times stronger than the earth's magnetic field and opens up new research opportunities for scientists in Japan. Already performing to full specification, the magnets have excellent homogeneity and the first has achieved field drift rate of less than 0.003 ppm. This unequalled performance is a key requirement for drug discovery scientists in Japan, enabling the high resolution, structural identification of biological macromolecules. In addition to environmental protection applications, the 900 MHz NMR magnet systems will be used particularly to study the 3-dimensional structure, function and dynamics of proteins, nucleic acids, and other biological macromolecules. The increased magnetic field will provide better spectral resolution, improved sensitivity and a 20% increase in signal to noise. This will enable scientists in Japan to develop a deeper understanding of the actual structure of target molecules and their spatial relationships with candidate pharmaceutical compounds. The high performance 900MHz NMR magnet is the latest product to emerge from Oxford Instruments' 30-year, world-leading magnet development programme. The company's 20-year+ partnership with Varian, and the unrivalled quality of its superconducting magnets, has played a key part in the performance and technical capability of Varian's NMR systems allowing Varian to maintain its position as a leading innovator in NMR science and technology.

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