Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
1. an enclosing structure, as a soluble container enclosing a dose of medicine.
2. a cartilaginous, fatty, fibrous, or membranous structure enveloping another structure, organ, or part. adj., adj cap´sular.
articular capsule the saclike envelope that encloses the cavity of a synovial joint by attaching to the circumference of the articular end of each involved bone. Called also joint capsule.
adipose renal capsule the investment of fat surrounding the fibrous renal capsule, continuous at the hilus with the fat in the renal sinus.
bacterial capsule a gelatinous envelope surrounding a bacterial cell, usually polysaccharide but sometimes polypeptide in nature; it is associated with the virulence of pathogenic bacteria.
Bowman's capsule the globular dilatation forming the beginning of a renal tubule and surrounding the glomerulus. Called also glomerular capsule and malpighian capsule.
c's of the brain two layers of white matter in the substance of the brain; external capsule and internal capsule.
external capsule the layer of white fibers between the putamen and claustrum.
fibrous renal capsule the connective tissue investment of the kidney, which continues through the hilus to line the renal sinus.
Glisson's capsule a sheath of connective tissue accompanying the hepatic ducts and vessels through the hepatic portal. In hepatitis it may become stretched, which is a common cause of pain.
glomerular capsule Bowman's capsule.
capsule of heart pericardium.
internal capsule the fanlike mass of white fibers separating the lentiform nucleus laterally from the head of the caudate nucleus, the dorsal thalamus, and the tail of the caudate nucleus medially. The internal capsule carries both afferent and efferent fibers of the cerebral cortex.
joint capsule articular capsule.
capsule of lens the elastic sac enclosing the lens of the eye.
malpighian capsule Bowman's capsule.
capsule of pancreas a thin sheath of areolar tissue that invests the pancreas (but does not form a definite capsule), the septa of which extend into the gland and divide it into lobules.
renal c's the investing tissue around the kidney, divided into the fibrous renal capsule and the adipose renal capsule.
Tenon's capsule the connective tissue enveloping the posterior eyeball.
a layer of slime of variable composition that covers the surface of some bacteria with loosely associated capsules; capsulated cells of pathogenic bacteria are usually more virulent than cells without capsules because the former are more resistant to phagocytic action.
bac·te·ri·al cap·sule(bak-tēr'ē-ăl kap'sŭl)
A layer of slime of variable composition that covers the surface ofsome bacteria; capsulated cells of pathogenic bacteria are usually more virulentthan cells without capsules because the former are more resistant to phagocyticaction.