Oil Red O

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Oil Red O 1-8-[4-(Dimethylphenylazo)dimethylphenylazo]-2-naphthalenol

Oil Red O (Solvent Red 27, Sudan Red 5B, C.I. 26125, C26H24N4O) is a lysochrome (fat-soluble dye) 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 red powder with maximum absorption at 518(359) nm.

Its CAS number is [1320-06-5] and its SMILES structure is OC1=C(N=NC3=CC(C) =C(N=NC4=CC(C) =CC=C4C)C=C3C) C2=C(C=CC=C2)C=C1.

Oil Red O is one of the dyes used for Sudan staining. Similar dyes include Sudan III, Sudan IV, and Sudan Black B. 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, Oil Red O is used in some compositions of red colored smokes. It is also used to dye some plastics, eg. polystyrene resins.

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