Etymology: < Latin smēcticus (Pliny), < Greek σμηκτικός , < σμήχειν to wipe, cleanse
1. Cleansing, abstersive, detergent. rare.
2. Physical Chem. Applied to (the state of) a mesophase (a liquid crystal) in which the molecules all have the same orientation and are arranged in well-defined planes. (OED)
"From the recent work of de Haas and co-workers, it appeared that the mode of aggregation of lecithins plays an essential role in their interaction with porcine pancreatic lipase A. This enzyme catalyses the hydrolysis of the 2 fatty acid ester bonds. It was found to be very weakly active on dispersions of natural or synthetic lecithins, when aggregated in the form of smectic liquid crystals."
- Tausk et al., "Physical chemical studies of short-chain lecithin homologues. I. Influence of the chain length of the fatty acid ester and of electrolytes on the critical micelle concentration", Biophysical Chemistry 1:175 (1973)