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Water-Cell Membrane Interactions

  • The phospholipids in a neuron cell membrane are amphipathic, meaning they have both polar and nonpolar parts.
  • The image descriptionheads are polar (or charged) and the image descriptiontails are nonpolar (or neutral).
An image showing the phospholipid of the neuron cell membrane (polar and nonpolar) parts
An image showing the phospholipid of the neuron cell membrane (polar [labeled] and nonpolar) parts
An image showing the phospholipid of the neuron cell membrane (polar [labeled] and nonpolar) parts which are labeled
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An image showing bilayer phospholipids formation (hydrophilic heads and hydrophobic tails) without explanation labeles
An image showing bilayer phospholipids formation (hydrophilic heads and hydrophobic tails) with explanation labeles below
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  • The phospholipid heads are hydrophilic (attracted to water molecules).
  • In contrast, the phospholipid tails are hydrophobic (repelled by water molecules). The tails, instead, are attracted to each other.
  • The combination of forces causes the image descriptionphospholipids to form a bilayer, where the head regions face the surrounding water molecules and the opposing tails face each other.
An image showing bilayer phospholipids formation (hydrophilic heads and hydrophobic tails)
An image showing bilayer phospholipids formation (hydrophilic heads and hydrophobic tails)
An image showing bilayer phospholipids formation (hydrophilic heads and hydrophobic tails)
An image showing bilayer phospholipids formation (hydrophilic heads and hydrophobic tails)
An image showing bilayer phospholipids formation (hydrophilic heads and hydrophobic tails)
An image showing bilayer phospholipids formation (hydrophilic heads and hydrophobic tails)
An image showing bilayer phospholipids formation (hydrophilic heads and hydrophobic tails)
An image showing bilayer phospholipids formation (hydrophilic heads and hydrophobic tails)
An image showing bilayer phospholipids formation (hydrophilic heads and hydrophobic tails)
An image showing bilayer phospholipids formation (hydrophilic heads and hydrophobic tails)