Cytoplasm

Cytoplasm is basically the substance that fills the cell. It is a jelly-like material that is eighty percent water and usually clears in color. It is more like a viscous (thick) gel than a watery substance, but it liquefies when shaken or stirred.

Cytoplasm, which can also be referred to as cytosol, means cell substance. This name is very fitting because cytoplasm is the substance of life that serves as a molecular soup in which all of the cell's organelles are suspended and held together by a fatty membrane. The cytoplasm is found inside the cell membrane and the cytoplasmic organelles.

The cytoplasm, as seen through an electron microscope, appears as a three-dimensional lattice of thin protein-rich strands. These lattices are known as microtrabecular lattice (MTL) and serves to interconnect and support the other "solid" structures in the cytoplasm. In other words, the cytoplasm is like a fence that is made up of lattes that are connected together. This fence's main purpose is to hold together the organelles within the cytoplasm.

The cytoplasm has three major elements; the cytosol, organelles and inclusions.

Cytosol, the cytosol is the portion not within membrane-bound organelles. The cytosol is a translucent fluid in which the plasmic elements are suspended.

Organelles, organelles are membrane-bound "organs" inside the cell that have specific functions. Some major organelles that are suspended in the cytosol are the mitochondria, the endoplasmic reticulum, the Golgi apparatus, vacuoles, lysosomes, and in plant cells chloroplasts.

Cytoplasmic inclusions, the inclusions are small particles of insoluble substances suspended in the cytosol.


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