Critical micelle concentration (CMC)

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[[Image:Micelle phospholipids.png|thumb|right|250px|Schematic of a phospholipid micelle]]
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'''Critical micelle concentration (CMC)''' is defined as the concentration of detergents above which micelles are spontaneously formed. The CMC is important in biology because at concentrations above it the detergents form complexes with lipophilic proteins. Below this borderline, detergents merely partition into membranes without solubilising membrane proteins.
'''Critical micelle concentration (CMC)''' is defined as the concentration of detergents above which micelles are spontaneously formed. The CMC is important in biology because at concentrations above it the detergents form complexes with lipophilic proteins. Below this borderline, detergents merely partition into membranes without solubilising membrane proteins.

Revision as of 08:02, 28 July 2009

Schematic of a phospholipid micelle
Schematic of a phospholipid micelle

Critical micelle concentration (CMC) is defined as the concentration of detergents above which micelles are spontaneously formed. The CMC is important in biology because at concentrations above it the detergents form complexes with lipophilic proteins. Below this borderline, detergents merely partition into membranes without solubilising membrane proteins.

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