CAPSULE (from the Lat. capsula, a small box), a term in botany for a dry seed vessel, as in the poppy, iris, foxglove, etc., containing one or more cells. When ripe the capsule opens and scatters the seed (see Botany). The word is used also for a small gelatinous case enclosing a dose of medicine, and for a metal cap or cover on bottles and jars. In anatomy the term is used to denote a cover or envelope partly or wholly surrounding a structure. Every diarthrodial joint possesses a fibrous or ligamentous capsule, lined with synovial membrane, attached to the adjacent ends of the articulating bones. The term is particularly applied to the sac which encloses the crystalline lens of the eye; to Glisson's capsule, a thin areolar coat of fibrous tissue lying inside the tunica serosa of the liver; to the glomerular capsules in the kidney substance; to the suprarenal capsules, two small flattened organs in the epigastric region; and to the internal and external capsules of the brain (see Brain, fig. 14 and explanation).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)