Phospholipids


As you can see from the image below, phospholipid molecules contain two main parts: a hydrophilic head and hydrophobic tail. The root word hydro refers to water. The root word -phil means loving or attracted and the root word -ic means the word is an adjective.

The root word -phob means “fear of.”

0301 Phospholipid Structure

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The hydrophilic head contains one or more charges that are attracted to the partial charges of water. (In other words, it is water-soluble.)

The hydrophobic tails are made of fatty acids, which contain no charges and therefore are not attracted to water. (In other words, the fatty acid tails are fat-soluble.)

In cells, phospholipid molecules are one of the molecules found in the membranes. The plasma membrane surrounds the cell but there are also membrane-bound organelles (e.g., mitochondria, Golgi complex, etc.).

0302 Phospholipid Bilayer

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As you can see from the figure above, the hydrophilic heads are attracted to the water that is found inside and outside of the cell.


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