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Book Review NMR of Polymers. By F. A. Bovey and P. A. Mireau

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BOOKS
cytochrome does not appear in the table
as such, nor does it in the index;
page 229: in the statement “. . . the C-1
centre is designated as S”,R should appear instead.
WolflPerer Kuhl and Karl-Heinz van Pee
Institut fur Biochemie
der Technische Universitat Dresden
(Germany)
NMR of Polymers. By F: A . Bovey
and P.A . Mireau. Academic Press,
San Diego, 1996. 459 pp., hardcover
%! 85.00.--ISBN 0-12-119765-4
The declared aim of this book is to
provide an overview of the applications of
NMR spectroscopy to polymer characterization. Frank A. Bovey and Peter A.
Mireau have succeeded well in their objective. Naturally, in view of the enormous
growth in the scope of this field, such an
overview cannot cover every aspect of the
current situation, and the authors make
this clear in their preface. Rather than attempting an exhaustive treatment, they
have set out to illustrate the range of
problems in the polymer sciences that can
be solved using NMR spectroscopy. The
particular strength of the book lies in the
adoption of this approach.
Chapter 1 explains the basic principles
of nuclear magnetic resonance at a level
understandable by the nonspecialist. The
authors provide a good introduction to
the subject, with a very broad choice of
material forming a grounding in the subject that is suitable for an interdisciplinary
readership. Thus we find, for example, a
drawing of a cross-section through a superconducting magnet, a description of
the frequency spectrum responsible for
magnetic relaxation, and detailed tables
of chemical shifts. A possible criticism is
that some of the figures are very basic and
lacking in detail, and contribute little to
the reader’s understanding. This applies,
for example, to Figure 1.5 showing the
separation of the alternating magnetic
field into two counterrotating components, and Figure 1.15 illustrating the
origin of the quadrupolar interaction. A
necessarily brief introduction such as this
cannot, of course, be expected to give the
newcomer a real working knowledge. Accordingly, the later discussions of specific
technique areas such as solid-state NMR
spectroscopy or two-dimensional NMR
methods are similarly limited to describing the most important pulse sequences
and the interpretation of the resulting
spectra.
AngrM Chenr Int Ed Engl. 1997.36, No 19
Chapter 2 begins with a brief and lucid
explanation of the different types of constitutional and configurational isomerism
of polymers. The authors then deal with
the various statistical models used to
derive the sequence frequencies of the
polymer chains resulting from different
growth mechanisms.
In Chapter 3 the reader learns how one
can determine the constitution and configuration of a polymer using high-resolution liquid-state NMR spectroscopy. This
chapter achieves its purpose very well by
using a large number of examples to illustrate how NMR spectroscopy can be
used. These begin with regioisomerism in
polythiophenes, and progress to problems
such as solvent association in solutions of
polymethylmethacrylate and polyvinylchloride. The reader’s understanding is
greatly helped by the frequent explanations of how one goes about predicting the
characteristic chemical shift for a given
structural element, using aids such as incremental rules, synthesizing model compounds, or recording multidimensional
spectra. The authors offer many helpful
hints on experimental aspects; for example, they point out that the chemical
shifts of methyl groups are especially sensitive to solvent effects.
Chapters 4 and 5 contain a very wideranging description of the capabilities of
solid-state NMR spectroscopy applied to
polymers. For example, the authors explain how the chain conformations of the
most important technical polymers can be
deduced from features in their 13C NMR
spectra, how one can study long-range
structures using a great variety of NMR
techniques, how the molecular mobilities
of the individual constituents in polymer
blends can be investigated, etc., etc. The
treatment is very up-to-date, as shown,
for example, by the fact that a large proportion of the book is devoted to multidimensional methods. The work is rounded
off by a very informative chapter on applications of NMR imaging.
The authors have been astute in their
choice of topics for inclusion in these
chapters. I noticed one error that has
crept in: in Figure 5.1 showing the spectral density for relaxation processes, the
extreme cases of very slow and very fast
relaxation have been interchanged, and
are opposite to those in Figure 1.8.
Which readers are most likely to benefit
from this book? It does not give enough
background on NMR fundamentals to
enable a newcomer to the field to make
effective use of the methods described. On
the other hand, experienced NMR users
will find nothing new here about techniques, although it may be useful in filling
0 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH, D-69451 Weinheim,
1997
gaps in their knowledge of the literature.
Probably those most likely to find the
book useful are postgraduate students
and research scientists who have a special
interest in polymer science and are already
familiar with NMR methods. It will make
them aware of the wide variety of problems that can be investigated using NMR
spectroscopy, and will bridge the gaps in
their knowledge to enable them to use the
techniques effectively. For these readers
the outlay of $85.00 should prove both
worthwhile and profitable.
Bernhard Bliimich
Lehrstuhl fur Makromolekulare Chemie
der Technischen Hochschule
Aachen (Germany)
Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry.
How Drugs Act and Why. By A .
Gringauz. WILEY-VCH, Weinheim, 1997. 721 pp., hardcover,
DM 109.00.-ISBN 0-471-18545-0
Compared to the situation in other
countries, the facilities for teaching
medicinal chemistry in German universities, as an optional extra subject for students of organic or pharmaceutical chemistry, are somewhat rudimentary, despite
the fact that many graduates hope to find
work in pharmaceutical research. It is
not surprising, therefore, that whereas the
classical disciplines of chemistry are
served by a few good quality works for
each level of study, which have become
established as standard textbooks, it is
difficult to identify corresponding books
in the area of medicinal chemistry. Alex
Gringauz, the author of the book reviewed here, explains that it is intended
for students of pharmaceutical and medicinal chemistry, and aims to provide an introductory overview of this specialized
area of biomedical research. which is of
steadily growing importance. It contains
15 self-contained chapters, the first three
of which introduce the reader to the most
important concepts of the molecular
mechanisms involved in the activity of
pharmaceutical agents. These chapters,
occupying about 90 pages, explain the
principles of the molecular interactions
between low molecular weight compounds and macromolecular target systems, and discuss the various types of
metabolic breakdown reactions undergone by medicinal compounds in the biochemical context. Unfortunately, however, the stereochemical aspects which are
of such importance for pharmaceutical
research are only touched on briefly.
0570-0833/97/3619-2131$ 17.50+ ,5010
2131
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