Disperse Orange 3 as a resonance Raman probe for measuring membrane order

Yuki Numakura, Takashi Miura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Resonance Raman spectra of azobenzene derivatives were examined in the presence of lipid membranes to find a probe that can distinguish different membrane phases. The NO2 symmetric stretching band of 4-(4-nitrophenylazo)aniline, also known as Disperse Orange 3 (DO3), is downshifted by about 4cm-1 on the phase transition of phosphatidylcholine membranes from the liquid crystalline to the gel phase. A comparable downshift also occurs when DO3 is bound to cholesterol-containing membranes in the liquid-ordered phase. Our results demonstrate that Raman spectrum of DO3 is a unique tool for measuring the molecular order of lipids in membranes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859-863
Number of pages5
JournalFEBS Open Bio
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Disperse orange 3
  • Membrane microdomains
  • Membrane order
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Resonance raman probe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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