Get access

Bile Salt Micelles: Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Crystallographic Studies


  • Stephen Barnes

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Pharmacology and Biochemistry, and Comprehensive Cancer and Cystic Fibrosis Centers, University of Alabama in Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama 35294
    • Stephen Barnes, Ph.D., Department of Pharmacology, Room 123, Volker Hall, University of Alabama in Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama 35294.
    Search for more papers by this author


Studies of bile salt structure using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and X-ray crystallography have suggested that micellar association of bile salts is a function of side chain length and of packing of the side chain and the steroid nucleus. Lanthanide NMR probe analysis has been used to determine the structure of what is probably the monomer of the bile salt glycocholate. These approaches to the structural chemistry of bile salt intra- and intermolecular interactions are providing the basis for the design of artificial bile salt-like compounds for use in the study and treatment of human gallstone disease.

Get access to the full text of this article