Molecules of amphiphilic compounds have hydrophobic (usually of hydrocarbon nature) and hydrophilic (represented by either ionic or uncharged polar functional groups) structural regions.
When placed in an immiscible biphasic system consisting of aqueous and hydrophobic solvent the amphiphilic compound will partition the two phases. The balance between hydrophobic and hydrophilic natures defines the extent of partitioning.
Although phospholipids are principal constituents of biological membranes, there are other amphiphilic molecules, such as cholesterol and glycolipids, which are also included in these structures and give them different physical and biological properties.
Many other amphiphilic compounds strongly interact with biological membranes by insertion of hydrophobic part into the lipid membrane, while exposing the hydrophilic part to the aqueous medium, altering their physical behaviour and sometimes disrupting them.
Surfactants are an example group of amphiphilic compounds. Their polar region can be either ionic, or non-ionic. Some typical members of this group are: sodium dodecyl sulfate (anionic), Benzalkonium chloride (cationic), Cocamidopropyl betaine (zwitterionic) and octanol (long chain alcohol, non-ionic).
US Patent Issued to Philip Morris USA on Nov. 9 for "Amphiphile-Modified Sorbents in Smoking Articles and Filters" (Virginia Inventors)
Nov 10, 2010; ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 10 -- United States Patent no. 7,827,996, issued on Nov. 9, was assigned to Philip Morris USA Inc....
WIPO ASSIGNS PATENT TO BASF FOR "AQUEOUS DISPERSION COMPRISING PESTICIDE PARTICLES AND AN AMPHIPHILE" (GERMAN INVENTOR)
May 19, 2011; GENEVA, May 19 -- Publication No. WO/2010/079037 was published on July 15. Title of the invention: "AQUEOUS DISPERSION COMPRISING...