views updated May 14 2018

micelle An aggregate of molecules in a colloid. For example, phospholipids in aqueous solution form micelles – small clusters of molecules in which the nonpolar hydrocarbon groups are in the centre and the hydrophilic polar groups are on the outside. The products of fat digestion are dispersed into micelles by the action of bile salts, which facilitates their absorption in the small intestine.


views updated May 17 2018

micelles Emulsified droplets of partially hydrolysed lipids, small enough to be absorbed across the intestinal mucosa.