nonpolar groupmedical dictionary

<chemistry> Group in which the electronic charge density is essentially uniform and that cannot therefore interact with other groups by forming hydrogen bonds or by strong dipole dipole interactions.

In an aqueous environment, nonpolar groups tend to cluster together, providing a major force for the folding of macromolecules and formation of membranes. Clusters are formed chiefly because they cause a smaller increase in water structure (decrease in entropy) than dispersed groups.

Nonpolar groups interact with each other only by the relatively weak London van der Waals forces.

(12 Mar 1998)