chapter  2
9 Pages

Plasma membrane

Most hydrophilic, or water-soluble, substances are repelled by this hydrophobic interior and cannot simply diffuse through the membrane. Instead, these substances must cross the membrane using specialized transport mechanisms. Examples of lipid-insoluble substances that require such mechanisms include nutrient molecules, such as glucose and amino acids, and all species of ions (Na

, Ca

, H

, Cl

, and HCO

). Therefore, the plasma membrane plays a very important role in determining the composition of the intracellular fluid by selectively permitting substances to move in and out of the cell.