The Cell Membrane of the Contractile Unit

  • Gianpaolo ZerbiniEmail author


The cell membrane was initially considered only as a barrier delimiting the cytoplasm from the extracellular environment but further research revealed that the cell membrane has a number of functions that are essential to the cell [1]. Structurally, the cell membrane is formed by a lipid bilayer (Fig. 3.1), with each of the two layers composed of molecules called phospholipids. The lipid component is, by definition, water-repellent, while the phosphate component is hydrophilic. The membrane is formed as the phosphate moves toward the outer surface of the cell, attracted by the aqueous environment, which the inwards-oriented lipids seek to escape. An additional and very important component of this double lipid structure consists of the membrane proteins.


Extracellular Milieu Hydrocarbon Tail Tendon Fiber Contractile Unit Phosphate Component 
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© Springer-Verlag Italia 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Complications of Diabetes Unit, Division of Metabolic and Cardiovascular SciencesIstituto Scientifico San RaffaeleMilanItaly

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