NIBSC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NIBSC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Transmission electron micrograph of the plasma membrane of a red blood cell (erythrocyte) comprising a lipid bilayer, seen as two dark lines (top). Beneath the membrane is the cell cytoplasm. The membrane separates a cell into two parts; an 'inside' and an 'outside', and as a result is the most important organ of the cell. It determines the composition of the cytoplasm by controlling what materials enter & exit the cell. The membrane is a fluid, permeable structure in which the components can move about. It is composed of a lipid film containing protein & small amounts of carbohydrates. Magnification: x370,000 at 8x10inch size.
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