Micelles are relatively small, spherical structures composed of anywhere from a few dozen to a few thousand molecules that attract one another to reduce surface tension within the membrane of a cell. The head of the molecule is hydrophilic, meaning it likes water, while the interior portion is hydrophobic, meaning it avoids water. Due to the way the individual units composing the micelle are arranged, water cannot penetrate into the core of the aggregate sphere. These lipid bilayers are fundamental to the structure of all biological membranes. It is likely that the first living cells resembled such liposomes.

Schematic representation of reverse micelle.

The water core is the site of nucleation of microporpus materials.

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