The cytoplasm is the gel-like fluid inside the cell, which represents the portion (about half of the total volume of the cell) contained within the cell membrane present in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. It consists of cellular organelles dispersed in a fluid matrix called the cytosol.
It is the medium for chemical reaction. It provides a platform upon which other organelles can operate within the cell. All of the functions for cell expansion, growth and replication are carried out in the cytoplasm of a cell. Within the cytoplasm, materials move by diffusion, a physical process that can work only for short distances.
The cytoplasm has primarily the function of organizing and maintaining the shape of the cell. Among other functions, it contributes decisively to the transport of molecules within the cell, conveying them to the correct compartment, as well as to cytodieresis and the support and anchoring of organelles.
The cytoplasm is crossed by the cytoskeleton, which allows the cell to move the organelles, maintain / change its shape, move (in plant cells the cell wall, rigid, does not allow the cell to change its shape). During cell division the mitotic spindle and aster are added to the centrioles, which together constitute the mitotic apparatus.
Composition of the cytoplasm
Numerous organelles or organelles are contained within the cytoplasm:
- Cell nucleus
- Endoplasmic reticulum
- Golgi apparatus