Module 3: The Cellular Level of Organization

Lesson 2: The Cell Membrane: Transport across the Membrane

Màng Tế Bào: Vận Chuyển Qua Màng

Nội dung bài học:
Mỗi bài học (lesson) bao gồm 4 phần chính: Thuật ngữ, Luyện Đọc, Luyện Nghe, và Bàn Luận.
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Dưới đây là danh sách những thuật ngữ Y khoa của module The Cellular Level of Organization.
Khái quát được số lượng thuật ngữ sẽ xuất hiện trong bài đọc và nghe sẽ giúp bạn thoải mái tiêu thụ nội dung hơn. Sau khi hoàn thành nội dung đọc và nghe, bạn hãy quay lại đây và luyện tập (practice) để quen dần các thuật ngữ này. Đừng ép bản thân phải nhớ các thuật ngữ này vội vì bạn sẽ gặp và ôn lại danh sách này trong những bài học (lesson) khác của cùng một module.

Medical Terminology: The Cellular Level of Organization

active transport
form of transport across the cell membrane that requires input of cellular energy
describes a molecule that exhibits a difference in polarity between its two ends, resulting in a difference in water solubility
third stage of mitosis (and meiosis), during which sister chromatids separate into two new nuclear regions of a dividing cell
consecutive sequence of three nucleotides on a tRNA molecule that is complementary to a specific codon on an mRNA molecule
breakdown of cells by their own enzymatic action
lysosomal breakdown of a cell’s own components
cell cycle
life cycle of a single cell, from its birth until its division into two new daughter cells
cell membrane
membrane surrounding all animal cells, composed of a lipid bilayer interspersed with various molecules; also known as plasma membrane
small, self-replicating organelle that provides the origin for microtubule growth and moves DNA during cell division
region of attachment for two sister chromatids
cellular structure that organizes microtubules during cell division
channel protein
membrane-spanning protein that has an inner pore which allows the passage of one or more substances
progress point in the cell cycle during which certain conditions must be met in order for the cell to proceed to a subsequence phase
substance consisting of DNA and associated proteins
condensed version of chromatin
small appendage on certain cells formed by microtubules and modified for movement of materials across the cellular surface
cleavage furrow
contractile ring that forms around a cell during cytokinesis that pinches the cell into two halves
consecutive sequence of three nucleotides on an mRNA molecule that corresponds to a specific amino acid
concentration gradient
difference in the concentration of a substance between two regions
one of a group of proteins that function in the progression of the cell cycle
cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)
one of a group of enzymes associated with cyclins that help them perform their functions
final stage in cell division, where the cytoplasm divides to form two separate daughter cells
internal material between the cell membrane and nucleus of a cell, mainly consisting of a water-based fluid called cytosol, within which are all the other organelles and cellular solute and suspended materials
“skeleton” of a cell; formed by rod-like proteins that support the cell’s shape and provide, among other functions, locomotive abilities
clear, semi-fluid medium of the cytoplasm, made up mostly of water
movement of a substance from an area of higher concentration to one of lower concentration
condition marked by the presence of a double complement of genetic material (two sets of chromosomes, one set inherited from each of two parents)
DNA polymerase
enzyme that functions in adding new nucleotides to a growing strand of DNA during DNA replication
DNA replication
process of duplicating a molecule of DNA
electrical gradient
difference in the electrical charge (potential) between two regions
import of material into the cell by formation of a membrane-bound vesicle
endoplasmic reticulum (ER)
cellular organelle that consists of interconnected membrane-bound tubules, which may or may not be associated with ribosomes (rough type or smooth type, respectively)
export of a substance out of a cell by formation of a membrane-bound vesicle
one of the coding regions of an mRNA molecule that remain after splicing
extracellular fluid (ECF)
fluid exterior to cells; includes the interstitial fluid, blood plasma, and fluid found in other reservoirs in the body
facilitated diffusion
diffusion of a substance with the aid of a membrane protein
appendage on certain cells formed by microtubules and modified for movement
G0 phase
phase of the cell cycle, usually entered from the G1 phase; characterized by long or permanent periods where the cell does not move forward into the DNA synthesis phase
G1 phase
first phase of the cell cycle, after a new cell is born
G2 phase
third phase of the cell cycle, after the DNA synthesis phase
functional length of DNA that provides the genetic information necessary to build a protein
gene expression
active interpretation of the information coded in a gene to produce a functional gene product
entire complement of an organism’s DNA; found within virtually every cell
coating of sugar molecules that surrounds the cell membrane
protein that has one or more carbohydrates attached
Golgi apparatus
cellular organelle formed by a series of flattened, membrane-bound sacs that functions in protein modification, tagging, packaging, and transport
enzyme that functions to separate the two DNA strands of a double helix during DNA replication
family of proteins that associate with DNA in the nucleus to form chromatin
describes two copies of the same chromosome (not identical), one inherited from each parent
describes a substance or structure attracted to water
describes a substance or structure repelled by water
describes a solution concentration that is higher than a reference concentration
describes a solution concentration that is lower than a reference concentration
integral protein
membrane-associated protein that spans the entire width of the lipid bilayer
intermediate filament
type of cytoskeletal filament made of keratin, characterized by an intermediate thickness, and playing a role in resisting cellular tension
entire life cycle of a cell, excluding mitosis
interstitial fluid (IF)
fluid in the small spaces between cells not contained within blood vessels
intracellular fluid (ICF)
fluid in the cytosol of cells
non-coding regions of a pre-mRNA transcript that may be removed during splicing
describes a solution concentration that is the same as a reference concentration
region of a centromere where microtubules attach to a pair of sister chromatids
molecule that binds with specificity to a specific receptor molecule
membrane-bound cellular organelle originating from the Golgi apparatus and containing digestive enzymes
messenger RNA (mRNA)
nucleotide molecule that serves as an intermediate in the genetic code between DNA and protein
second stage of mitosis (and meiosis), characterized by the linear alignment of sister chromatids in the center of the cell
metaphase plate
linear alignment of sister chromatids in the center of the cell, which takes place during metaphase
the thinnest of the cytoskeletal filaments; composed of actin subunits that function in muscle contraction and cellular structural support
the thickest of the cytoskeletal filaments, composed of tubulin subunits that function in cellular movement and structural support
one of the cellular organelles bound by a double lipid bilayer that function primarily in the production of cellular energy (ATP)
division of genetic material, during which the cell nucleus breaks down and two new, fully functional, nuclei are formed
mitotic phase
phase of the cell cycle in which a cell undergoes mitosis
mitotic spindle
network of microtubules, originating from centrioles, that arranges and pulls apart chromosomes during mitosis
describes the condition of being able to differentiate into different types of cells within a given cell lineage or small number of lineages, such as a red blood cell or white blood cell
change in the nucleotide sequence in a gene within a cell’s DNA
nuclear envelope
membrane that surrounds the nucleus; consisting of a double lipid-bilayer
nuclear pore
one of the small, protein-lined openings found scattered throughout the nuclear envelope
small region of the nucleus that functions in ribosome synthesis
unit of chromatin consisting of a DNA strand wrapped around histone proteins
cell’s central organelle; contains the cell’s DNA
describes the condition of being more specialized than multipotency; the condition of being able to differentiate into one of a few possible cell types
any of several different types of membrane-enclosed specialized structures in the cell that perform specific functions for the cell
diffusion of water molecules down their concentration gradient across a selectively permeable membrane
passive transport
form of transport across the cell membrane that does not require input of cellular energy
peripheral protein
membrane-associated protein that does not span the width of the lipid bilayer, but is attached peripherally to integral proteins, membrane lipids, or other components of the membrane
membrane-bound organelle that contains enzymes primarily responsible for detoxifying harmful substances
endocytosis of large particles
endocytosis of fluid
describes the condition of being able to differentiate into a large variety of cell types
chain of amino acids linked by peptide bonds
simultaneous translation of a single mRNA transcript by multiple ribosomes
region of DNA that signals transcription to begin at that site within the gene
first stage of mitosis (and meiosis), characterized by breakdown of the nuclear envelope and condensing of the chromatin to form chromosomes
full complement of proteins produced by a cell (determined by the cell’s specific gene expression)
reactive oxygen species (ROS)
a group of extremely reactive peroxides and oxygen-containing radicals that may contribute to cellular damage
protein molecule that contains a binding site for another specific molecule (called a ligand)
receptor-mediated endocytosis
endocytosis of ligands attached to membrane-bound receptors
ribosomal RNA (rRNA)
RNA that makes up the subunits of a ribosome
cellular organelle that functions in protein synthesis
RNA polymerase
enzyme that unwinds DNA and then adds new nucleotides to a growing strand of RNA for the transcription phase of protein synthesis
S phase
stage of the cell cycle during which DNA replication occurs
selective permeability
feature of any barrier that allows certain substances to cross but excludes others
sister chromatid
one of a pair of identical chromosomes, formed during DNA replication
sodium-potassium pump
(also, Na+/K+ ATP-ase) membrane-embedded protein pump that uses ATP to move Na+ out of a cell and K+ into the cell
somatic cell
all cells of the body excluding gamete cells
complex of enzymes that serves to splice out the introns of a pre-mRNA transcript
the process of modifying a pre-mRNA transcript by removing certain, typically non-coding, regions
stem cell
cell that is oligo-, multi-, or pleuripotent that has the ability to produce additional stem cells rather than becoming further specialized
final stage of mitosis (and meiosis), preceding cytokinesis, characterized by the formation of two new daughter nuclei
embryonic cells that have the ability to differentiate into any type of cell and organ in the body
process of producing an mRNA molecule that is complementary to a particular gene of DNA
transcription factor
one of the proteins that regulate the transcription of genes
transfer RNA (tRNA)
molecules of RNA that serve to bring amino acids to a growing polypeptide strand and properly place them into the sequence
process of producing a protein from the nucleotide sequence code of an mRNA transcript
consecutive sequence of three nucleotides on a DNA molecule that, when transcribed into an mRNA codon, corresponds to a particular amino acid
describes the condition of being committed to a single specialized cell type
membrane-bound structure that contains materials within or outside of the cell
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Dưới đây là các bài văn nằm ở bên trái. Ở bên phải là các bài luyện tập (practice) để đánh giá khả năng đọc hiểu của bạn. Sẽ khó khăn trong thời gian đầu nếu vốn từ vựng của bạn còn hạn chế, đặc biệt là từ vựng Y khoa. Hãy kiên nhẫn và đọc nhiều nhất có kể, lượng kiến thức tích tụ dần sẽ giúp bạn đọc thoải mái hơn.
One of the great wonders of the cell membrane is its ability to regulate the concentration of substances inside the cell. These substances include ions such as Ca++, Na+, K+, and Cl–; nutrients including sugars, fatty acids, and amino acids; and waste products, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), which must leave the cell.

The membrane’s lipid bilayer structure provides the first level of control. The phospholipids are tightly packed together, and the membrane has a hydrophobic interior. This structure causes the membrane to be selectively permeable. A membrane that has selective permeability allows only substances meeting certain criteria to pass through it unaided. In the case of the cell membrane, only relatively small, nonpolar materials can move through the lipid bilayer (remember, the lipid tails of the membrane are nonpolar). Some examples of these are other lipids, oxygen and carbon dioxide gases, and alcohol. However, water-soluble materials—like glucose, amino acids, and electrolytes—need some assistance to cross the membrane because they are repelled by the hydrophobic tails of the phospholipid bilayer. All substances that move through the membrane do so by one of two general methods, which are categorized based on whether or not energy is required. Passive transport is the movement of substances across the membrane without the expenditure of cellular energy. In contrast, active transport is the movement of substances across the membrane using energy from adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
In order to understand how substances move passively across a cell membrane, it is necessary to understand concentration gradients and diffusion. A concentration gradient is the difference in concentration of a substance across a space. Molecules (or ions) will spread/diffuse from where they are more concentrated to where they are less concentrated until they are equally distributed in that space. (When molecules move in this way, they are said to move down their concentration gradient.) Diffusion is the movement of particles from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration. A couple of common examples will help to illustrate this concept. Imagine being inside a closed bathroom. If a bottle of perfume were sprayed, the scent molecules would naturally diffuse from the spot where they left the bottle to all corners of the bathroom, and this diffusion would go on until no more concentration gradient remains. Another example is a spoonful of sugar placed in a cup of tea. Eventually the sugar will diffuse throughout the tea until no concentration gradient remains. In both cases, if the room is warmer or the tea hotter, diffusion occurs even faster as the molecules are bumping into each other and spreading out faster than at cooler temperatures. Having an internal body temperature around 98.6° F thus also aids in diffusion of particles within the body.

Whenever a substance exists in greater concentration on one side of a semipermeable membrane, such as the cell membranes, any substance that can move down its concentration gradient across the membrane will do so. Consider substances that can easily diffuse through the lipid bilayer of the cell membrane, such as the gases oxygen (O2) and CO2. O2 generally diffuses into cells because it is more concentrated outside of them, and CO2 typically diffuses out of cells because it is more concentrated inside of them. Neither of these examples requires any energy on the part of the cell, and therefore they use passive transport to move across the membrane.

Before moving on, you need to review the gases that can diffuse across a cell membrane. Because cells rapidly use up oxygen during metabolism, there is typically a lower concentration of O2 inside the cell than outside. As a result, oxygen will diffuse from the interstitial fluid directly through the lipid bilayer of the membrane and into the cytoplasm within the cell. On the other hand, because cells produce CO2 as a byproduct of metabolism, CO2 concentrations rise within the cytoplasm; therefore, CO2 will move from the cell through the lipid bilayer and into the interstitial fluid, where its concentration is lower. This mechanism of molecules moving across a cell membrane from the side where they are more concentrated to the side where they are less concentrated is a form of passive transport called simple diffusion (Figure 1).

Large polar or ionic molecules, which are hydrophilic, cannot easily cross the phospholipid bilayer. Very small polar molecules, such as water, can cross via simple diffusion due to their small size. Charged atoms or molecules of any size cannot cross the cell membrane via simple diffusion as the charges are repelled by the hydrophobic tails in the interior of the phospholipid bilayer. Solutes dissolved in water on either side of the cell membrane will tend to diffuse down their concentration gradients, but because most substances cannot pass freely through the lipid bilayer of the cell membrane, their movement is restricted to protein channels and specialized transport mechanisms in the membrane. Facilitated diffusion is the diffusion process used for those substances that cannot cross the lipid bilayer due to their size, charge, and/or polarity (Figure 2). A common example of facilitated diffusion is the movement of glucose into the cell, where it is used to make ATP. Although glucose can be more concentrated outside of a cell, it cannot cross the lipid bilayer via simple diffusion because it is both large and polar. To resolve this, a specialized carrier protein called the glucose transporter will transfer glucose molecules into the cell to facilitate its inward diffusion.

As an example, even though sodium ions (Na+) are highly concentrated outside of cells, these electrolytes are charged and cannot pass through the nonpolar lipid bilayer of the membrane. Their diffusion is facilitated by membrane proteins that form sodium channels (or “pores”), so that Na+ ions can move down their concentration gradient from outside the cells to inside the cells. There are many other solutes that must undergo facilitated diffusion to move into a cell, such as amino acids, or to move out of a cell, such as wastes. Because facilitated diffusion is a passive process, it does not require energy expenditure by the cell.

Water also can move freely across the cell membrane of all cells, either through protein channels or by slipping between the lipid tails of the membrane itself. Osmosis is the diffusion of water through a semipermeable membrane (Figure 3).

The movement of water molecules is not itself regulated by some cells, so it is important that these cells are exposed to an environment in which the concentration of solutes outside of the cells (in the extracellular fluid) is equal to the concentration of solutes inside the cells (in the cytoplasm). Two solutions that have the same concentration of solutes are said to be isotonic (equal tension). When cells and their extracellular environments are isotonic, the concentration of water molecules is the same outside and inside the cells, and the cells maintain their normal shape (and function).

Osmosis occurs when there is an imbalance of solutes outside of a cell versus inside the cell. A solution that has a higher concentration of solutes than another solution is said to be hypertonic, and water molecules tend to diffuse into a hypertonic solution (Figure 4). Cells in a hypertonic solution will shrivel as water leaves the cell via osmosis. In contrast, a solution that has a lower concentration of solutes than another solution is said to be hypotonic, and water molecules tend to diffuse out of a hypotonic solution. Cells in a hypotonic solution will take on too much water and swell, with the risk of eventually bursting. A critical aspect of homeostasis in living things is to create an internal environment in which all of the body’s cells are in an isotonic solution. Various organ systems, particularly the kidneys, work to maintain this homeostasis.

Another mechanism besides diffusion to passively transport materials between compartments is filtration. Unlike diffusion of a substance from where it is more concentrated to less concentrated, filtration uses a hydrostatic pressure gradient that pushes the fluid—and the solutes within it—from a higher pressure area to a lower pressure area. Filtration is an extremely important process in the body. For example, the circulatory system uses filtration to move plasma and substances across the endothelial lining of capillaries and into surrounding tissues, supplying cells with the nutrients. Filtration pressure in the kidneys provides the mechanism to remove wastes from the bloodstream.
For all of the transport methods described above, the cell expends no energy. Membrane proteins that aid in the passive transport of substances do so without the use of ATP. During active transport, ATP is required to move a substance across a membrane, often with the help of protein carriers, and usually against its concentration gradient.

One of the most common types of active transport involves proteins that serve as pumps. The word “pump” probably conjures up thoughts of using energy to pump up the tire of a bicycle or a basketball. Similarly, energy from ATP is required for these membrane proteins to transport substances—molecules or ions—across the membrane, usually against their concentration gradients (from an area of low concentration to an area of high concentration).

The sodium-potassium pump, which is also called Na+/K+ ATPase, transports sodium out of a cell while moving potassium into the cell. The Na+/K+ pump is an important ion pump found in the membranes of many types of cells. These pumps are particularly abundant in nerve cells, which are constantly pumping out sodium ions and pulling in potassium ions to maintain an electrical gradient across their cell membranes. An electrical gradient is a difference in electrical charge across a space. In the case of nerve cells, for example, the electrical gradient exists between the inside and outside of the cell, with the inside being negatively-charged (at around -70 mV) relative to the outside. The negative electrical gradient is maintained because each Na+/K+ pump moves three Na+ ions out of the cell and two K+ ions into the cell for each ATP molecule that is used (Figure 5). This process is so important for nerve cells that it accounts for the majority of their ATP usage.

Active transport pumps can also work together with other active or passive transport systems to move substances across the membrane. For example, the sodium-potassium pump maintains a high concentration of sodium ions outside of the cell. Therefore, if the cell needs sodium ions, all it has to do is open a passive sodium channel, as the concentration gradient of the sodium ions will drive them to diffuse into the cell. In this way, the action of an active transport pump (the sodium-potassium pump) powers the passive transport of sodium ions by creating a concentration gradient. When active transport powers the transport of another substance in this way, it is called secondary active transport.

Symporters are secondary active transporters that move two substances in the same direction. For example, the sodium-glucose symporter uses sodium ions to “pull” glucose molecules into the cell. Because cells store glucose for energy, glucose is typically at a higher concentration inside of the cell than outside. However, due to the action of the sodium-potassium pump, sodium ions will easily diffuse into the cell when the symporter is opened. The flood of sodium ions through the symporter provides the energy that allows glucose to move through the symporter and into the cell, against its concentration gradient.

Conversely, antiporters are secondary active transport systems that transport substances in opposite directions. For example, the sodium-hydrogen ion antiporter uses the energy from the inward flood of sodium ions to move hydrogen ions (H+) out of the cell. The sodium-hydrogen antiporter is used to maintain the pH of the cell’s interior.

Other forms of active transport do not involve membrane carriers. Endocytosis (bringing “into the cell”) is the process of a cell ingesting material by enveloping it in a portion of its cell membrane, and then pinching off that portion of membrane (Figure 6). Once pinched off, the portion of membrane and its contents becomes an independent, intracellular vesicle. A vesicle is a membranous sac—a spherical and hollow organelle bounded by a lipid bilayer membrane. Endocytosis often brings materials into the cell that must be broken down or digested. Phagocytosis (“cell eating”) is the endocytosis of large particles. Many immune cells engage in phagocytosis of invading pathogens. Like little Pac-men, their job is to patrol body tissues for unwanted matter, such as invading bacterial cells, phagocytize them, and digest them. In contrast to phagocytosis, pinocytosis (“cell drinking”) brings fluid containing dissolved substances into a cell through membrane vesicles.

Phagocytosis and pinocytosis take in large portions of extracellular material, and they are typically not highly selective in the substances they bring in. Cells regulate the endocytosis of specific substances via receptor-mediated endocytosis. Receptor-mediated endocytosis is endocytosis by a portion of the cell membrane that contains many receptors that are specific for a certain substance. Once the surface receptors have bound sufficient amounts of the specific substance (the receptor’s ligand), the cell will endocytose the part of the cell membrane containing the receptor-ligand complexes. Iron, a required component of hemoglobin, is endocytosed by red blood cells in this way. Iron is bound to a protein called transferrin in the blood. Specific transferrin receptors on red blood cell surfaces bind the iron-transferrin molecules, and the cell endocytoses the receptor-ligand complexes.

In contrast with endocytosis, exocytosis (taking “out of the cell”) is the process of a cell exporting material using vesicular transport (Figure 7). Many cells manufacture substances that must be secreted, like a factory manufacturing a product for export. These substances are typically packaged into membrane-bound vesicles within the cell. When the vesicle membrane fuses with the cell membrane, the vesicle releases it contents into the interstitial fluid. The vesicle membrane then becomes part of the cell membrane. Cells of the stomach and pancreas produce and secrete digestive enzymes through exocytosis (Figure 8). Endocrine cells produce and secrete hormones that are sent throughout the body, and certain immune cells produce and secrete large amounts of histamine, a chemical important for immune responses.

OpenStax. (2022). Anatomy and Physiology 2e. Rice University. Retrieved June 15, 2023. ISBN-13: 978-1-711494-06-7 (Hardcover) ISBN-13: 978-1-711494-05-0 (Paperback) ISBN-13: 978-1-951693-42-8 (Digital). License: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). Access for free at

The structure of the lipid bilayer allows small, uncharged substances such as oxygen and carbon dioxide, and hydrophobic molecules such as lipids, to pass through the cell membrane, down their concentration gradient, by simple diffusion.

(a) Facilitated diffusion of substances crossing the cell (plasma) membrane takes place with the help of proteins such as channel proteins and carrier proteins. Channel proteins are less selective than carrier proteins, and usually mildly discriminate between their cargo based on size and charge. (b) Carrier proteins are more selective, often only allowing one particular type of molecule to cross.

Osmosis is the diffusion of water through a semipermeable membrane down its concentration gradient. If a membrane is permeable to water, though not to a solute, water will equalize its own concentration by diffusing to the side of lower water concentration (and thus the side of higher solute concentration). In the beaker on the left, the solution on the right side of the membrane is hypertonic.

A hypertonic solution has a solute concentration higher than another solution. An isotonic solution has a solute concentration equal to another solution. A hypotonic solution has a solute concentration lower than another solution.

The sodium-potassium pump is found in many cell (plasma) membranes. Powered by ATP, the pump moves sodium and potassium ions in opposite directions, each against its concentration gradient. In a single cycle of the pump, three sodium ions are extruded from and two potassium ions are imported into the cell.

Endocytosis is a form of active transport in which a cell envelopes extracellular materials using its cell membrane. (a) In phagocytosis, which is relatively nonselective, the cell takes in a large particle. (b) In pinocytosis, the cell takes in small particles in fluid. (c) In contrast, receptor-mediated endocytosis is quite selective. When external receptors bind a specific ligand, the cell responds by endocytosing the ligand.

Exocytosis is much like endocytosis in reverse. Material destined for export is packaged into a vesicle inside the cell. The membrane of the vesicle fuses with the cell membrane, and the contents are released into the extracellular space.

The pancreatic acinar cells produce and secrete many enzymes that digest food. The tiny black granules in this electron micrograph are secretory vesicles filled with enzymes that will be exported from the cells via exocytosis. LM × 2900. (Micrograph provided by the Regents of University of Michigan Medical School © 2012)

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Xem video và cảm nhận nội dung bài. Bạn có thể thả trôi, cảm nhận dòng chảy ngôn ngữ và không nhất thiết phải hiểu toàn bộ bài. Bên dưới là script để bạn khái quát nội dụng và tra từ mới.
  1. The cell membrane provides a barrier around the cell, separating its internal components from the extracellular environment.
  2. It is composed of a phospholipid bilayer, with hydrophobic internal lipid “tails” and hydrophilic external phosphate “heads.”
  3. Various membrane proteins are scattered throughout the bilayer, both inserted within it and attached to it peripherally.
  4. The cell membrane is selectively permeable, allowing only a limited number of materials to diffuse through its lipid bilayer.
  5. All materials that cross the membrane do so using passive transport processes, which are non-energy-requiring, or active transport processes, which are energy-requiring.
  6. During passive transport, materials move by simple diffusion or by facilitated diffusion through the membrane, down their concentration gradient.
  7. Water passes through the membrane in a diffusion process called osmosis.
  8. During active transport, energy is expended to assist material movement across the membrane in a direction against their concentration gradient.
  9. Active transport may take place with the help of protein pumps or through the use of vesicles.
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