The “fluid-mosaic” description of the plasma membrane refers to the two layers of phospholipids that surround the cell. The double layer contains phosphorous and fats, which become fluid in nature when exposed to an animal’s body temperature. The heads of these molecules have an affinity for water while their tails repel it. Moreover, the hydrophilic heads are outward looking with their tails being confined in the double layer (Alberts, 1989, p. 34). It is also important to remember that a plasma membrane film forms around all cells as they reside in the extracellular fluid that also holds the cytoplasm. Cholesterol and some proteins are then entrenched in this layer that subsequently gives it the appearance of a mosaic. Substances such as proteins can move across the cell membrane which finally creates a fluid-mosaic model.
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