Applications for Bioanalytical

IMSERC has a large pool of modern instrumentation for bioanalytical scientists. Our center is integrated with the Chemistry Department at Northwestern University where scientists run their experiments on a 24/7 basis. From monitoring reactions to full structure elucidation, researchers and students have access to a variety of techniques that can be used for:

Crystallographic atomic structure determination, identification, and refinement of small bio-organic and bio-inorganic compounds for extraction of structural information such as:

  • Determination of unit cell and bonding environment (bond-lengths, bond-angles, cation-anion coordination, site-ordering, etc.)
  • Determination of packing of molecules
  • Determination of Hydrogen bonding
  • Determination of enantiomers
  • High resolution data for charge density measurement and precise assignment of atoms with similar chemical environment
  • Refinement of co-crystals, twinned, and modulated structures (incommensurate, commensurate, composite superstructures)
  • Evaluation of sample purity (sensitivity of ~2% by weight)
  • Quantitative determination of individual crystalline phases and impurities in mixtures of powder
  • Monitor reactions in real time as a function of time, temperature, pressure, and gas flow/pressure
  • Investigate decomposition mechanism
  • In-situ monitoring of crystallization processes with increasing temperature

Thermal analysis which can be coupled with GC-MS for the determination of:

  • Melting point using either Differential Thermal Analysis or Differential Scanning Calorimetry
  • Crystallization transition using either Differential Thermal Analysis or Differential Scanning Calorimetry
  • Glass transition using Differential Scanning Calorimetry
  • Decomposition temperature using ThermoGravimetric analysis which can be coupled with GC-MS for the identification of the decomposition products
  • Temperature of combustion with ThermoGravimetric analysis and identification of combustion volatiles using GC-MS

Qualitative and Quantitative elemental analyses

  • Accurate determination of concentration of Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, and Sulfur in solid materials by using combustion CHNS analysis
  • Halide determination (Chlorine, Bromine, Iodine) in solids or liquids using X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy
  • Survey of impurities and elements heavier than Sodium with X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy

Optical spectroscopy

  • Determination of functional groups and likely solvnet molecules using Infrared (IR) spectroscopy
  • Vibrational stretches using Raman and IR Spesctroscopy
  • Color, band gap, and absorption measurements using Ultra-violet (UV), visible (Vis), and IR spectroscopies
  • Photoluminescence, lifetime phosphorescence, and emission measurements using spectrofluorimeter
  • Optical rotations and quantification of enantiomers using polarimetry

NMR structure biology

With modern digital NMR equipment, rapid protein structure determination with solution NMR is a reality for proteins with molecular weight below 25 kDa.  It is straight forward to get a three-dimensional solution NMR structure or a protein or protein ligand complex in its  native functional state.   In addition to providing insights about their three-dimensional structures and functions, it can also be employed to probe the protein or enzyme active sites and folding changes associated with enzyme activation.