One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An aggregate of molecules in a colloidal solution, such as those formed by detergents.
- ‘The SDS molecules group together to form negatively charged micelles.’
- ‘The team made micelles from polymer molecules that have a water-attracting end and a water-avoiding end.’
- ‘In a second step, these helices are inserted into the hydrophobic environment of the detergent micelle.’
- ‘As the polyethylene oxide drew more water out of the fibroin solution, the micelles aggregated into microscopic globules.’
- ‘One structure, known as a micelle, is a small, spherical cluster of molecules that have the phosphate groups on the surface and the fatty acid tails on the interior.’
Late 19th century: coined as a diminutive of Latin mica ‘crumb’.
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