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General function in cell containment

Written by Cindy Ma on Feb 14, 2020
The plasma membrane separates the inside of the cell from its outside environment.
Both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells have a plasma membrane, a double layer of lipids that separates the cell interior from the outside environment. The membrane is a delicate, two-layered structure of lipids and proteins, and it controls what can enter and exit the cell.

Key Points

  • Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells both have a plasma membrane, which acts as a barrier between the cell’s interior and the outside environment.

Key Terms

  • plasma membrane: the semipermeable barrier that surrounds the cytoplasm (inside contents) of a cell


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