The superdiamagnetic effect of magnetic fields on one and two component multilamellar liposomes

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1984 Sep 7;801(1):66-75. doi: 10.1016/0304-4165(84)90213-7.


For multilamella vesicles of DMPC, DPPC, DSPC, binary mixtures of DMPC-DPPC, DMPC-DSPC, DMPC-DPPE, DOPC and egg lecithin, the optical turbidity decreases significantly on the application of a magnetic field in excess of about 0.2 T, provided that the temperature is above the pretransition value. The turbidity reaches a limiting value for magnetic fields of about 2 T. The effect is attributed to augmentation of the diamagnetic anisotropy of the lipid molecules by clustering within the bilayer, with consequent orientation of either the individual 'superdiamagnetic' clusters or the whole liposome. It is suggested that, since most animal cell membranes are largely in the liquid crystalline phase, it is possible that homogeneous magnetic fields as low as 0.2 T may cause biologically significant changes within the membrane.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Liposomes*
  • Magnetics
  • Models, Biological
  • Nephelometry and Turbidimetry / methods
  • Phosphatidylcholines*
  • Phosphatidylethanolamines
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Liposomes
  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • Phosphatidylethanolamines
  • 1,2-dipalmitoyl-3-phosphatidylethanolamine