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Cell Membrane & External Environment

Plasma Membrane
Defines the cell Separating ICF & ECF Selective / Semi-permeable A very unique structure The Fluid Mosaic Model explains the plasma membrane

Plasma Membrane
The Fluid Mosaic Model : Thin structure (7-10 nm) Bilayer of lipid molecules > Phospholipids Polar > Phosphate & Non-Polar > Lipids Protein molecules dispersed in it Protein molecules float / move in the fluid lipid bilayer > constant changing mosaic pattern.

Plasma Membrane
Contain specific lipids / proteins
Glycolipids Cellular recognition Glycoproteins Cell-cell interactions Glycocalyx biological markers (sperm-ovum) Cholesterol stabilizing membrane, mobility Transport Enzymatic activity As receptors for signal transduction Cell-cell recognition Attachment to cytoskeleton

Some Functions of the above

Plasma Membrane
Selectively permeable
Permeable to nonpolar, uncharged molecules (O2, CO2, Steroids) Permeable to water flows through gaps that form in hydrophobic core of membrane as phospholipids move

Transmembrane proteins acts as channels for small and medium polar & uncharged particles. Macromolecules unable to pass through the membrane use vesicular transport system.

Membrane Potential
All cells exhibit a resting membrane potential (-20 to -200mV) Why negative sign? Mainly due to Na+ and K+ ions Higher Na+ (outside) & higher and K+ (inside) Sodium less permeable compared to potassium > deficit of (+) ions inside. MP due to Sodium-Potassium Pump

Sodium-Potassium Pump


Transport Across Cell Membrane

Membrane Permeability

Gradient Across Plasma Membrane

Cell Transport

Passive Transport


Diffusion Through Lipid Bilayer

Facilitated Diffusion

Diffusion Through Membrane Channels

Diffusion Through Capillary Walls


Active Transport

Active Transport

Primary Active Transport

For the transport of insulin, LDL ALSO flu viruses & some toxins