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Hydrophile, from the Greek (hydros) "water" and φιλια (philia) "friendship," refers to a physical property of a molecule that can transiently bond with water (H2O) through hydrogen bonding. This is thermodynamically favorable, and makes these molecules soluble not only in water, but also in other polar solvents. There are hydrophilic and hydrophobic parts of the cell membrane.

A hydrophilic molecule or portion of a molecule is one that is typically charge-polarized and capable of hydrogen bonding, enabling it to dissolve more readily in water than in oil or other hydrophobic solvents. A hydrophilic is made up of alcohol and fatty acyl chains. Hydrophilic and hydrophobic molecules are also known as polar molecules and nonpolar molecules, respectively. Some hydrophilic substances do not dissolve. This type of mixture is called a colloid. Soap, which is amphipathic, has a hydrophilic head and a hydrophobic tail, allowing it to dissolve in both waters and oils.

An approximate rule of thumb for hydrophilicity of organic compounds is that solubility of a molecule in water is more than 1 mass % if there is at least one neutral hydrophile group per 5 carbons, or at least one electrically charged hydrophile group per 7 carbons.[1]

See also

References

  1. ^ Medical Chemistry Compendium. By Anders Overgaard Pedersen and Henning Nielsen. Aarhus University. 2008
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