Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy is an extremely powerful yet non-perturbing physical technique for monitoring the conformation and dynamics of all portions of the phospholipid molecule. In this brief review we summarize some recent FT-IR spectroscopic studies of phospholipid phase transitions in model lipid bilayer and in biological membranes which illustrate the great utility of this technique. We show that FT-IR spectroscopy can accurately monitor the gel to liquid-crystalline phase transition and can provide a large amount of detailed information about phospholipid structure and organization in both the gel and liquid-crystalline states of lipid bilayers.
Chemistry and Physics of Lipids57, no. 2-3: 213–226.