A coat of carbohydrates or other slimy substance around microorganisms which enable them to avoid phagocytosis (being engulfed by other microorganisms, or by the defense cells of a host's immune system).

From the BioTech Dictionary at http://biotech.icmb.utexas.edu/. For further information see the BioTech homenode.

Cap"sule (?), n. [L. capsula a little box or chest, fr. capsa chest, case, fr. capere to take, contain: cf. F. capsule.]

1. Bot.

a dry fruit or pod which is made up of several parts or carpels, and opens to discharge the seeds, as, the capsule of the poppy, the flax, the lily, etc.

2. Chem. (a)

A small saucer of clay for roasting or melting samples of ores, etc.; a scorifier.


a small, shallow, evaporating dish, usually of porcelain.

3. Med.

A small cylindrical or spherical gelatinous envelope in which nauseous or acrid doses are inclosed to be swallowed.

4. Anat.

A membranous sac containing fluid, or investing an organ or joint; as, the capsule of the lens of the eye. Also, a capsulelike organ.


A metallic seal or cover for closing a bottle,


A small cup or shell, as of metal, for a percussion cap, cartridge, etc.

Atrabiliary capsule. See under Atrabiliary. -- Glisson's capsule, a membranous envelope, entering the liver along with the portal vessels and insheathing the latter in their course through the organ. -- Suprarenal capsule, an organ of unknown function, above or in front of each kidney.


© Webster 1913.

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