Properties of the Lipid Bilayer1

Properties of the Lipid Bilayer1 - molecules, and, as we...

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Properties of the Lipid Bilayer As we have already mentioned, the most important property of the lipid bilayer is that it is a highly impermeable structure. Impermeable simply means that it does not allow molecules to freely pass across it. Only water and gases can easily pass through the bilayer. This property means that large molecules and small polar molecules cannot cross the bilayer, and thus the cell membrane, without the assistance of other structures. Another important property of the lipid bilayer is its fluidity. The lipid bilayer contains lipid
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Unformatted text preview: molecules, and, as we will discuss later, it also contains proteins. The bilayer's fluidity allows these structures mobility within the lipid bilayer. This fluidity is biologically important, influencing membrane transport. Fluidity is dependent on both the specific structure of the fatty acid chains and temperature (fluidity increases at lower temperatures). Structurally, the lipid bilayer is asymmetrical: the lipid and protein composition in each of the two layers is different....
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