D2O/H2O — Permeability of Membranes by Light Scattering

  • H.-P. Engelbert
  • R. Lawaczeck


The different indices of refraction of H2O and D2O are used to study the permeation of these molecules through vesicular lipid bilayers. Vesicles were prepared by sonication in H2O and rapidly mixed with D2O in a stopped-flow apparatus. The initial, intra-vesicular index of refraction decreases since the D2O-molecules permeate into the interior of the vesicles. Consequently, the transmitted light intensity increases until the isotopic composition is equal on both sides of the membrane. The time-dependent signal is a function of the vesicular size and becomes visible only for larger vesicles. Calculations based on the Mie scattering theory of coated spheres are in agreement with the experiments.


Large Vesicle Transmitted Light Intensity Coated Sphere Lipid Bilayer Vesicle Vesicular Size 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • H.-P. Engelbert
    • 1
  • R. Lawaczeck
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Physical ChemistryWürzburgGermany

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