The cell membrane surrounds the biological cells of all living beings. It exists in animal cells, while plants, fungi, algae, and most prokaryotes have it alongside the cell wall. Does it sound too hard to understand? Accordingly, this is all about Science, so we can’t go away with this difficulty!
Let us make it simple by talking about its many purposes, which have been listed below. Find out its importance in our body now. Understand why it has one of the most important jobs with the other membranes.
Cell Membrane Functions
The cell membrane forms a protective membrane that separates the cell interior from the outside environment. It is, therefore, responsible for preventing any external harm to come to the cell’s innards. In plants, fungi, algae, and most prokaryotic life forms, cell walls exist to protect the cell further. However, animal cells do not have cell walls, making them more fragile.
In particular, a cell can die in several ways. These are Apoptosis, Autophagy, and Necrosis. The deaths are caused by different matters such as trauma or natural result.
Cells may also become abnormal, which can result in diseases such as cancer. Some deaths are usual to cells so they can regenerate healthier ones. In the case of cancers, they do not, and it causes the problem.
Due to the matters, protection is highly significant for the cells. Our own body does it for us, and we need to be more responsible for it.
The cell membrane acts as a foundation or framework for the living cell, with the cell membrane acting as an anchor and container for the cell’s cytoplasm, which molds the cytoplasm and the cell organelles into a proper structure. Without the cell membrane, the cytoplasm and the organelles will quickly come apart, destroying the cell.
The cell membrane is responsible for controlling entrance and exit to and from the cell, due to its selective permeability. The cell membrane is selectively permeable means that the membrane can choose which molecules or ions to let through. The cell membrane becomes responsible for the survival of the cell, letting through materials for survival.
There are many ways through which a cell membrane transports needed material. It can do so actively, where the cell spends energy to let material through. It can also do so passively, where the transport occurs without the cell’s interference.
Endocytosis is an example of active transport. The cell membrane creates an indentation through which it engulfs the target substance. Once consumed, a part of the membrane then separates and forms a vesicle that contains the target substance.
Passive osmosis and diffusion is an example of passive transport. The method has small molecules and ions, such as oxygen and carbon dioxide, transferred in and out of the cell. Since ions move from high concentration areas to low concentration, this causes oxygen to move into the cell while causing carbon dioxide to move out of the cell.
The cell is the building block of ourselves. You can’t live without it in your body. In case it dies, it will affect your being, and you will eventually perish as well. Hence, the cell membranes are essential in maintaining the health of body cells.