Origin of surfactantsurf(ace-)act(ive agent) + -ant
- A surface-active substance.
- A substance composed of lipoprotein that is secreted by the alveolar cells of the lung and serves to maintain the stability of pulmonary tissue by reducing the surface tension of fluids that coat the lung.
Origin of surfactantsurf(ace)-act(ive) a(ge)nt
- A substance that, when dissolved in water, lowers the surface tension of the water and increases the solubility of organic compounds. Surfactants are used in inks to increase the effects of capillary action; detergents are surfactants that help remove organic compounds from a substance by making them dissolve more readily in the water in which the substance is washed.
- A substance composed of lipoprotein that is secreted by the alveolar cells of the lung and maintains the stability of pulmonary tissue by reducing the surface tension of fluids that coat the lung.
- (chemistry) A surface active agent, or wetting agent, capable of reducing the surface tension of a liquid; typically organic compounds having a hydrophilic "head" and a hydrophobic "tail".
- (biochemistry) A lipoprotein in the tissues of the lung that reduces surface tension and permits more efficient gas transport.