How do neutral solutes move across the plasma membrane?

How do neutral solutes move across the plasma membrane? Can the polar molecules also move across it in the same way? If not, then how are these transported across the membrane?


Plasma membrane is the outermost covering of the cell that separates it from the environment. It regulates the movement of substances into the cell and out from it. It allows the entry of only some substances and prevents the movement of other materials. Hence, the membrane is selectively-permeable.

Movement of neutral solutes across the cell membrane – Neutral molecules move across the plasma membrane by simple passive diffusion. Diffusion is the movement of molecules from a region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration.

Movement of polar molecules across the cell membrane – The cell membrane is made up of a phospholipid bilayer and proteins. The movement of polar molecules across the non-polar lipid bilayer requires carrier-proteins. Carrier-proteins are integral protein particles having certain affinity for specific solutes. As a result, they facilitate the transport of molecules across the membrane.

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