Dictionary > Microfibril

Microfibril

Definition
noun, plural: microfibrils
(1) (cell biology) A microtubule or microfilament within the cell; an extremely small, submicroscopic cellular fiber.
(2) (histology) A tubular structure composed of collagen, which may occur in solitary or in groups in the extracellular matrix.
(3) (botany) The fundamental structural unit of the cell wall. It is made of an inner core of about fifty parallel chains of cellulose and other polymers in a paracrystalline array.
(4) (zootomy) The smallest unit that collectively forms the fibril.
Supplement
(Botany) In higher plants and many algae, the microfibrils are made of cellulose. They are extremely long relative to their width (about 10nm in diameter). They provide great tensile strength due to their spatial structure. The cellulose molecules are oriented parallel to the long axis of the microfibril in a paracrystalline array. The microfibrils are held in place by the wall matrix.
In some fungi, the microfibrils are composed of chitin whereas in few algae, mannan or xylan.
(Zootomy) In animals, the microfibrils are submicroscopic structures that are grouped to form the fibril. The fibrils in turn are grouped to form the fiber. The bundle of fibers forms the tendon.
Word origin: Greek mīkro-, from mīkros, small + New Latin fibrilla, diminutive of Latin fibra, fiber.

Related forms: microfibrillar (adjective)


You will also like...

Developmental Biology
Developmental Biology

Developmental biology is a biological science that is primarily concerned with how a living thing grows and attains matu..

Peppered moth ("Biston betularia") melanic and light form
Examples of Natural Selection

Darwin's Finches are an example of natural selection in action. They are an excellent example of the way species' gene p..

Freshwater Ecology
Freshwater Ecology

Freshwater ecology focuses on the relations of aquatic organisms to their freshwater habitats. There are two forms of co..

Oligodendrocyte and Schwann cell
The Central Nervous System

Myelin sheath is essential for a faster conductivity of signals. Know more about this feature of some neurons in the Cen..

Circulation
Circulation

The circulatory system is key to the transport of vital biomolecules and nutrients throughout the body. Learn about the ..

"Cronopio dentiacutus", a prehistoric mammal (an illustration)
Mammalian Ancestors

Mammals are a diverse group of organisms, where most of them develop their offspring within the uterus of the mother. Ov..

Related Articles...

No related articles found

See all Related Topics