Oil Red O

Oil Red O

Overview
Oil Red O is a lysochrome
Lysochrome
A lysochrome is a soluble dye used for biochemical staining of triglycerides, fatty acids, and lipoproteins. Lysochromes such as Sudan IV bind to the lipid in a substrate and show up as colored regions. The dye does not stick to any other substrates, so a quantification or qualification of lipid...

 (fat-soluble dye) diazo dye used for staining
Staining (biology)
Staining is an auxiliary technique used in microscopy to enhance contrast in the microscopic image. Stains and dyes are frequently used in biology and medicine to highlight structures in biological tissues for viewing, often with the aid of different microscopes...

 of neutral triglycerides and lipid
Lipid
Lipids constitute a broad group of naturally occurring molecules that include fats, waxes, sterols, fat-soluble vitamins , monoglycerides, diglycerides, triglycerides, phospholipids, and others...

s on frozen sections and some lipoproteins on paraffin sections. It has the appearance of a red powder with maximum absorption at 518(359) nm.

Oil Red O is one of the dyes used for Sudan stain
Sudan stain
Sudan staining is the use of Sudan dyes to stain sudanophilic substances, usually lipids. Sudan lysochromes are used....

ing.
Similar dyes include Sudan III
Sudan III
Sudan III is a lysochrome diazo dye used for staining of triglycerides in frozen sections, and some protein bound lipids and lipoproteins on paraffin sections. It has the appearance of reddish brown crystals and a maximum absorption at 507 nm.Sudan III is a dye used for Sudan staining...

, Sudan IV
Sudan IV
Sudan IV is a lysochrome diazo dye used for the staining of lipids, triglycerides and lipoproteins on frozen paraffin sections. It has the appearance of reddish brown crystals with melting point 199 °C and maximum absorption at 520 nm.Sudan IV is one of the dyes used for Sudan staining. Similar...

, and Sudan Black B
Sudan Black B
Sudan Black B is a lysochrome diazo dye used for staining of neutral triglycerides and lipids on frozen sections and some lipoproteins on paraffin sections. It has the appearance of a dark brown to black powder with maximum absorption at 596-605 nm and melting point 120-124 °C...

. The staining has to be performed on fresh samples, as alcohol fixation removes the lipids.

Oil Red O largely replaced Sudan III and Sudan IV, as it provides much deeper red color and the stains are therefore much easier to see.

In pyrotechnics
Pyrotechnics
Pyrotechnics is the science of using materials capable of undergoing self-contained and self-sustained exothermic chemical reactions for the production of heat, light, gas, smoke and/or sound...

, Oil Red O is used in some compositions of red colored smoke
Colored smoke
Colored smoke is a kind of smoke created by an aerosol of small particles of a suitable pigment or dye.Colored smoke can be used for smoke signals, often in a military context. It can be produced by smoke grenades, or by various other pyrotechnical devices...

s.
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Encyclopedia
Oil Red O is a lysochrome
Lysochrome
A lysochrome is a soluble dye used for biochemical staining of triglycerides, fatty acids, and lipoproteins. Lysochromes such as Sudan IV bind to the lipid in a substrate and show up as colored regions. The dye does not stick to any other substrates, so a quantification or qualification of lipid...

 (fat-soluble dye) diazo dye used for staining
Staining (biology)
Staining is an auxiliary technique used in microscopy to enhance contrast in the microscopic image. Stains and dyes are frequently used in biology and medicine to highlight structures in biological tissues for viewing, often with the aid of different microscopes...

 of neutral triglycerides and lipid
Lipid
Lipids constitute a broad group of naturally occurring molecules that include fats, waxes, sterols, fat-soluble vitamins , monoglycerides, diglycerides, triglycerides, phospholipids, and others...

s on frozen sections and some lipoproteins on paraffin sections. It has the appearance of a red powder with maximum absorption at 518(359) nm.

Uses


Oil Red O is one of the dyes used for Sudan stain
Sudan stain
Sudan staining is the use of Sudan dyes to stain sudanophilic substances, usually lipids. Sudan lysochromes are used....

ing.
Similar dyes include Sudan III
Sudan III
Sudan III is a lysochrome diazo dye used for staining of triglycerides in frozen sections, and some protein bound lipids and lipoproteins on paraffin sections. It has the appearance of reddish brown crystals and a maximum absorption at 507 nm.Sudan III is a dye used for Sudan staining...

, Sudan IV
Sudan IV
Sudan IV is a lysochrome diazo dye used for the staining of lipids, triglycerides and lipoproteins on frozen paraffin sections. It has the appearance of reddish brown crystals with melting point 199 °C and maximum absorption at 520 nm.Sudan IV is one of the dyes used for Sudan staining. Similar...

, and Sudan Black B
Sudan Black B
Sudan Black B is a lysochrome diazo dye used for staining of neutral triglycerides and lipids on frozen sections and some lipoproteins on paraffin sections. It has the appearance of a dark brown to black powder with maximum absorption at 596-605 nm and melting point 120-124 °C...

. The staining has to be performed on fresh samples, as alcohol fixation removes the lipids.

Oil Red O largely replaced Sudan III and Sudan IV, as it provides much deeper red color and the stains are therefore much easier to see.

In pyrotechnics
Pyrotechnics
Pyrotechnics is the science of using materials capable of undergoing self-contained and self-sustained exothermic chemical reactions for the production of heat, light, gas, smoke and/or sound...

, Oil Red O is used in some compositions of red colored smoke
Colored smoke
Colored smoke is a kind of smoke created by an aerosol of small particles of a suitable pigment or dye.Colored smoke can be used for smoke signals, often in a military context. It can be produced by smoke grenades, or by various other pyrotechnical devices...

s. It is also used to dye some plastic
Plastic
A plastic material is any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic solids used in the manufacture of industrial products. Plastics are typically polymers of high molecular mass, and may contain other substances to improve performance and/or reduce production costs...

s, e.g. polystyrene
Polystyrene
Polystyrene ) also known as Thermocole, abbreviated following ISO Standard PS, is an aromatic polymer made from the monomer styrene, a liquid hydrocarbon that is manufactured from petroleum by the chemical industry...

 resin
Resin
Resin in the most specific use of the term is a hydrocarbon secretion of many plants, particularly coniferous trees. Resins are valued for their chemical properties and associated uses, such as the production of varnishes, adhesives, and food glazing agents; as an important source of raw materials...

s.

Forensic


When staining, Oil Red O can make fat more visible in various cuts in pathology.

It is also used in a technique (the method is called as the dye: Oil Red O), discovered in 2004 by Alexandre Beaudoin
Alexandre Beaudoin
Alexandre Beaudoin is a Quebec fingerprint scientist known for inventing a technique for developing latent fingerprints on dry and/or wet porous surfaces . -Biography:...

, for staining latent fingerprint
Fingerprint
A fingerprint in its narrow sense is an impression left by the friction ridges of a human finger. In a wider use of the term, fingerprints are the traces of an impression from the friction ridges of any part of a human hand. A print from the foot can also leave an impression of friction ridges...

s. This technique allows the development of latent fingerprints on porous exhibits (such as paper, cardboard, etc.) that are dry or wet.

It mainly targets fat deposits on the surface of porous exhibits. It is a non-destructive technique (which does not destroy the exhibit and doesn’t prevent the use of other techniques).

It is a safe alternative to the Physical Developer method, and is also used in sequence with other methods of fingerprints development.

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