Biophysics of structure and mechanism

, Volume 3, Issue 3–4, pp 239–257 | Cite as

Application of radiationless energy transfer for distance measurements across membranes

Transition probabilities for radiationless energy transfer within several assemblies of donors and acceptors at stationary distances
  • L. Kampmann


For several 2- or 3-dimensional configurations of stationary donors and acceptors on or near a spherical membrane shell the transition probabilities for radiationless energy transfer are calculated, using Förster's approximation obtained for Coulombic dipole-dipole interaction of the transition moments. It turns out that the difference in the refractive indices for membrane (lipid) and bulk phase (water) has only a small influence on the transition probabilities. Furthermore, the curvature of biological cell surfaces can be neglected, but affects the energy transfer across small vesicles. The ratio thickness/radius of small vesicles can be determined by measuring fluorescence quenching of excited donors by acceptors on the other side of the membrane.

Key words

Energy transfer Distance Orientation factor Membrane curvature Refractive index 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Kampmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Insitut für BiophysikFrankfurt (Main)Federal Republic of Germany

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