To study the process in detail, researchers from the Federal University of Goias, Brazil, are using the well known phenomena of magnetic colloids named magnetic birefringence, which consists of the rotation of the axis of a beam of linear polarized light passing through a field-induced birefringent material. The effect is extremely important in the case of magnetic nanoparticles suspended in liquid carriers (magnetic colloids), but has only recently been successfully applied to the investigation of magnetoliposomes.

By applying the simple, but powerful method to their system, the authors were able to extract information about the efficiency of encapsulation, the number of nanoparticles encapsulated per liposome (with and without the inclusion of cholesterol in the bilayer) and the formation of nanoparticle agglomerates (small linear chains of nanoparticles). The methodology could enable the development of more efficient magnetic nanocarriers and may be useful for other magnetic carrier systems. For example, magnetodendrimers and magnetoviruses.

The group presented its work in Nanotechnology.