NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Phospholipid bilayer. Molecular graphic of the phospholipid bilayer that forms the membrane around all living cells. The cell membrane is made of phospholipid molecules, each of which has a hydrophilic (soluble in water) and hydrophobic (insoluble in water) end. The hydrophobic part of the phospholipid is a fatty acid chain, shown here in blue. The molecules line up in two sheets, with the fatty acid chains forming a hydrophobic layer in the middle. The hydrophilic surface on both sides of the membrane, shown here in yellow and white, is the point of contact for molecules leaving or entering the cell.
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