Micelles and Cell membranes
Patrick
The human body is a whirlwind of activity. It consists of many different cells and parts of cells doing many different things. One of the most unique of these functions are those played by special cells called micelles and liposomes. The relation between the bonding and intermolecular forces (defined as the forces that cause molecules to aggregate and form liquids or solids) in these cells influence its unique properties.

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A common micelle
A micelle is defined as a nano-sized vesicle that is water soluble on the outside and carries a fat soluble nutrient on the inside. (Maher) They are only 100 nanometers in size. These properties are possible due to a Micelle having a unique cell membrane: it's made up of hydrophillic (water loving) heads and hydrophobic (literally afraid of water) tails. The micelle forms a kind of bubble shape with the hydrophillic heads facing outward and the hydrophobic tails facing inward, surrounding the fat-soluble nutrient.
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a micelle
The heads of micelles tend to be very polar, that is having a higher difference in electronegativity, which itself is the ability of an atom to attract electrons, while the tails are non polar, which means having little to no difference in electronegativity, allowing for the heads to continuosly face outward. (Maher) When in water, the polarity of water also attaracts the polar heads, allowing the micelle to effectively transport the fat soluble nutrient, such as Vitamins K, D, and E, in the body. (Maher)
Another important vesicle similar to micelles are liposomes. Liposomes are lipid spheres, like micelles, but they contain an aqueous core. They are also much larger then a micelle, have a bi-layer membrane, and can carry both water soluble and fat soluble nutrients. (Maher)
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difference in micelles and liposomes and picture of liposomes' bi-layer membrane

Micelles and Liposomes are two very important cells to the body. They are in many ways a natural nanotechnology and without them, our bodies would have no way of benefitting from key nutrients we need to live healthy lives. Doctors and Scientists are even attempting to take a micelle's ability to trasnport fat-soluble nutirents and apply it to medicine, allowing micelles to carry certain medicines that are not dissolved by water to combat certain diseases and illnesses. (Maher)









Text Sources:
    1. "Liposomes and micelles." HEALTH AND WELLNESS Dynamic Chiropractic, June 17, 2008 v26 i13 p26(3). Science Resource Center. Gale. 13 November 2009 http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/SciRC?ste=1&docNum=A180591328
Image Sources:

  1. http://www.uic.edu/classes/bios/bios100/lecturesf04am/micelle.jpg
  2. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c6/Phospholipids_aqueous_solution_structures.svg
  3. http://www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/vchembook/558micelle.html