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What factors affect the permeability of a cell membrane?

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Quick Answer

The permeability of a cell membrane is affected by the polarity, electric charge and molar mass of the molecules that diffuse through it. The phosolipid layers that make up the cell membrane also affect its permeability.

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What factors affect the permeability of a cell membrane?
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Full Answer

A cell membrane consists of two phosolipid layers. Each layer has an electrically charged and hydrophilic head, while the tail is uncharged and hydrophobic. The electrically charged heads of these layers face toward the water. The uncharged tails face each other. This makes it easier for small, neutrally-charged molecules to pass through the cell membrane as opposed to charged and larger molecules. The phosolipid layers also prevent non-lipid soluble substances from passing through the cell membrane.

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