A roughly spherical group of large molecules that come together in a colloid. For example, a molecule of soap or detergent has a hydrophilic ("water-loving") polar head and a long hydrophobic ("water-hating") nonpolar tail. When soaps or detergents dissolve in water, the molecules clump together to form micelles with the nonpolar tails at the center, surrounded by a sphere of polar heads linked to water molecules. Bile salt in the intestine make the product of fat digestion form micelles, which are thereby more easily absorbed.
Related category CHEMICAL BONDING
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