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The fluid mosaic model was outlined first in 1972 and explains how biological membranes are organised to form cell membranes. It also outlines how passive and active movement occurs between cells and their surroundings and cell signalling. Phospholipid bilayers can form compartments and this is how the cell surface membranes are made establishing the boundaries of cells. The bilayers also contain proteins, which are intrinsic or extrinsic. The model is described as 'fluid' because phospholipids and proteins can move around via diffusion and it is described as a 'mosaic' because the scattered pattern produced by the proteins in the bilayer looks like a mosaic.
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The fluid mosaic model refers to plasma cell membranes. Plasma cell membranes consist of a phospholipid bilayer. The 'Mosaic' term comes from the proteins and cholesterol that are randomly inserted into the membrane and thus it looks like a mosaic. The 'fluid' term is a result of the ability for the molecules making up the plasma membrane to move around each other freely.
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