Aggregation behavior of bile salts in aqueous solution

J Pharm Sci. 1996 Jan;85(1):9-15. doi: 10.1021/js950326j.


Freezing point depression, delta T/k, and pNa are measured and analyzed for aqueous solutions of trihydroxy (NaTC) and dihydroxy (NaDC and NaTDC) bile salts. The results show the existence of break points in the plot of delta T/k vs molality at 0.018, 0.013, and 0.007 m, respectively, in good agreement with previous published critical micelle concentration values. Above the break point bile salts form aggregates with average aggregation numbers of 2.59 +/- 0.12 (NaTC), 5.82 +/- 0.04 (NaDC), and 5.42 +/- 0.47 (NaTDC). Fractions of bound counterions are also deduced, being close to 0.3 for the three bile salts studied. This indicates that only one counterion is bound for every three monomers in the aggregate. The different structural models published for the bile salt aggregates are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bile Acids and Salts / chemistry*
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry, Physical
  • Freezing
  • Micelles
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Solutions
  • Water / chemistry


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Micelles
  • Solutions
  • Water