Copyright

Cell Membrane Lesson for Kids: Definition & Function

Cell Membrane Lesson for Kids: Definition & Function
Coming up next: Cell Wall Lesson for Kids: Definition & Function

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:03 What Is a Cell Membrane?
  • 0:54 Function of the Cell Membrane
  • 2:02 Structure of the Cell Membrane
  • 2:49 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Cell membranes are an important part of the cells in your body. Learn how this living wall helps keep your cells protected and patrols what comes in and what goes out.

What Is a Cell Membrane?

Cell membranes are like bags for your cells. They surround every cell in your body and keep the contents inside. They also control what passes in and out of the cell. Learn how the structure of a cell membrane helps it do its job.

Your bedroom is a great place to keep all of your stuff, but what if your bedroom didn't have walls? There would be no way to keep unwanted visitors, like brothers and sisters, out. And if a storm came through, there'd be nothing to keep your stuff from being blown away.

A bedroom without walls would be like a cell without a cell membrane. A cell membrane is a border that covers every cell in a living organism. So the cells inside your dog, cat, and hamster have cell membranes just like the cells in your body.

Function of the Cell Membrane

Cell membranes, which are also called plasma membranes, wrap around each of the trillions of cells in your body. Their main job is to control the movement of things into and out of the cell, and they can do this because they are selectively permeable. Being selectively permeable means that they control what can cross over them, so you could say that a cell membrane is like a border patrol officer.

At any given time, there are many substances waiting outside of your cells to get inside. If everything were free to pass, your cells would get overwhelmed. So, the cell membrane only allows what it needs to come inside. Likewise, the selectively permeable membrane lets out things it no longer needs, like waste products.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account
Support