, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 1-6

Dynamic nuclear polarisation of biological matter

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Polarised targets as used in high energy physics experiments may be of considerable interest in biological structure research using polarized neutrons. So far, this promising method has been facing difficulties in getting reasonable polarization of the target nuclei. We report on a polarized “frozen spin” target which has been prepared from an enzyme dissolved in a mixture of heavy water and deuterated propanediol doped with a completely deuterated paramagnetic radical. Clusters of 700 protons defined by the structure of lysozyme embedded in a fully deuterated matrix were polarized to 75% within an hour by 4 mm microwave irradiation in a magnetic field of 2.5 tesla at a temperature of 0.3 K. The polarisation behaviour of biological targets can be compared to the best frozen spin target materials in high energy physics research.