WHAT IS THE FLUID MOSAIC MODEL?
The fluid mosaic model of plasma membrane is the most accepted hypothesis, which describes the membranous components and their functions. According to this model, the plasma membrane is similar to a fluid, in which various molecules are arranged in a mosaic-like pattern.
The protoplasm of every living cell is enclosed by a plasma membrane. It holds true for both simple prokaryotic, as well as for the complex eukaryotic cells. This membrane not only serves as a protective covering for the cellular components, but also is a crucial structure for transportation of nutrients and communication between the cells. In order to explain the structure and functions of biological membranes, the fluid mosaic model was proposed in 1972 by the researchers, S.J. Singer and Garth Nicolson.
EVIDENCE AND EXPLANATION
The plasma membrane is a unique component of both plant and animal cells. It serves as a barrier between the cell interior and its surrounding.
With reference to the model, the structure of this biological membrane is such that it only allows entry and exit of certain substances. Hence, it is simply referred to as a semipermeable membrane.
Regarding the term 'fluid mosaic model', the cell membrane is more like a fluid, rather than being a rigid or solid structure. This is because of the sideways and lateral movements of protein and lipid molecules throughout the membrane, as per requirements of the cell. Since