Characteristics of the Cell Membrane

The cell membrane characteristics consists of a bilayer of phospholipids that surrounds the cytoplasm of living cells. It acts as a barrier to keep out the extracellular environment and regulates the passage of solutes. Although cell membranes are in general hydrophobic, they allow specific types of ions to pass. This is necessary for the correct electrochemical balance between the cell and the environment.

What Do Membranes Do?

The cell membrane also plays an important role in regulating the concentration of substances inside the cell. This includes nutrients, ions, and waste products. In addition to regulating the concentration of these substances, the cell membrane also functions as a gate. The gate keeps out substances that are detrimental to the cell’s function, while allowing the exchange of essential nutrients.

The cell membrane consists of two types of phospholipid molecules. The first type is hydrophilic, and the second is hydrophobic. Phospholipids tend to form a double-layer membrane that separates water from other materials. The hydrophilic part of the membrane is surrounded by a hydrophilic region that is in contact with aqueous solutions.

Another characteristic of the cell membrane is that it is composed of a lipid bilayer. The membrane also contains various proteins. These proteins can be either integral or peripheral.