If the cell membrane becomes totally impermeable, water and dissolved gases, most notably oxygen, would no longer be able to enter or leave the cell. The cell membrane is usually permeable to a number of substances, mostly small, nonpolar molecules. Other polar or charged particles are transported across the membrane by special embedded protein structures, and so would not be directly affected by a change in membrane permeability.Know More
The membrane permeability of animal cells and many other organisms is crucial to their survival. The inability to absorb oxygen or release carbon dioxide would quickly be lethal to such organisms. However, other organisms less dependent on oxygen-based metabolism would survive a while longer, although the condition would eventually kill them as well. One example is yeast, which takes in food molecules and generates energy from them without the need for oxygen.
The ability for water to pass through cell membranes is often as much a hindrance to the cell as it is a benefit. Many cells, particularly single-celled organisms, exist in environments with a different amount of solute in the water outside than they have inside. Thus, water tends to move into or out of the cell constantly, which the cell compensates for by expending energy.Learn more about Cells
A cell membrane is a thin layer that acts as a barrier that separates an individual cell or a cellular compartment from other surrounding structures. This dynamic layer plays an essential part in the transport of ions and nutrients.Full Answer >
Unlike the cell membrane, the cell wall is not common to all types of cells. A protective layer that surrounds the cell membrane, one of its main functions is to prevent over-expansion of a cell.Full Answer >
The cell membrane is said to be selectively permeable because it lets certain substances pass through while restricting the passage of others. The actual structure of the cell membrane allows free passage or restricts movement of substances across the membrane. Three ways in which the cell membrane controls the movement of substances is simple diffusion, facilitated diffusion and active transport.Full Answer >
According to science writer Clare Smith for SeattlePi, the cell membrane is kept from collapsing by its phospholipid bilayer, maintenance of the correct temperature, a cytoskeleton and cell junctions. These are necessary because the cell membrane is one of the most crucial components of a cell.Full Answer >