Definition of amphipathic in English:


(also amphiphilic)


  • (of a molecule, especially a protein) having both hydrophilic and hydrophobic parts.

    • ‘They are basic, cysteine-rich, amphiphilic proteins, and some of them have antimicrobial activities.’
    • ‘Many peptides and proteins interact strongly with amphiphilic molecules and these interactions are of vast importance, not only in vivo but also in technical applications.’
    • ‘In our present paper, we added a spherical nanoparticle interacting attractively with the hydrophilic segments of amphiphilic molecules.’
    • ‘Depending on their specific biological function, membranes are composed of mixtures of many different lipids and amphiphilic proteins, and it is, in particular, the proteins that are decisive for their specific function.’
    • ‘This should be taken as an indication that the contributions of the hydrophilic and hydrophobic portions of the amphiphilic molecules to the free energy of interaction with the solvent phases are not independent.’


1930s: from amphi- + Greek pathikos (from pathos experience).