Cell membrane

The 'cell membrane' (also known as the plasma membrane or cytoplasmic membrane) is a biological membrane that separates the interior of all cells from the outside environment.

The cell membrane is selectively permeable to ions and organic molecules and controls the movement of substances in and out of cells.

The basic function of the cell membrane is to protect the cell from its surroundings. 

The fluid mosaic model of the cell membrane. image: wikipedia

It consists of the phospholipid bilayer with embedded proteins. Cell membranes are involved in a variety of cellular processes such as:

  •  cell adhesion, 
  • ion conductivity , 
  • cell signalling and serve as the attachment surface for several extracellular structures, 
  • including the
    •  cell wall, 
    • glycocalyx, and
    •  intracellular cytoskeleton. 

Cell membranes can be artificially reassembled.

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cell_membrane&oldid=602894741


Cell membranes are studied as part of cell biology,  molecular biology and biochemistry