Dr Irosha Nawarathne is an Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Department at Lyon College, a selective liberal arts institution in rural Arkansas. Her work bridges biomedical research to teaching students the practical use of instrumentation to prepare them for employment and the challenges of the chemical industry. She summarizes her experience with the Spinsolve, which was added to the Chemistry Department in 2015:
Spinsolve has become the most popular among faculty and students of our chemistry program. It is used in organic chemistry, instrumental analysis, and advanced inorganic chemistry laboratories. We plan to extend the usage to other areas too. Students have become very interested in the concept of NMR because of this instrument. Their knowledge of NMR is improved tremendously after the incorporation of Spinsolve in the chemistry program. It is easy to operate, provides quick analysis, and requires very low maintenance. Spinsolve is definitely the best fit for a small college like ours. We formerly had a cryogenic NMR spectrometer at Lyon but the chemistry program has not been able to maintain the instrument in the long term. Spinsolve is low cost and its low maintenance is key for its great fit to Lyon chemistry program. It is also used in recruiting keen students as they get really excited about the instrument and its capabilities during frequent campus tours.
They also take the advantage of Spinsolve in their biomedical research program of discovery of novel antibiotics for drug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The research students use it to get feed-back on their synthesized molecules before moving on to the next step. They have also utilized the COSY protocol for understanding the framework of the synthesized molecules. They mainly work with large natural products that require more than proton NMR to understand the modifications. As they focus on developing various fluorinated natural products, they are in the process of upgrading their system with 19F capabilities.
NMR provides detailed structure of the molecule within a very short time compared to the other instruments. The students feel very confident and satisfied with their laboratory accomplishments using the Spinsolve. We incorporate all the available instruments in instrumental analysis and advanced inorganic chemistry classes for students’ benefit. Since spring 2017, several applications of Spinsolve were utilized to analyze paramagnetic and organometallic compounds. Such is the delight to have the Spinsolve at Lyon, we are also in the process of seeking funds for the purchase of the 13C console of Spinsolve.