Meaning of Cytoplasm

What is Cytoplasm:

The cytoplasm is found under the cell membrane and which, in turn, covers the cell nucleus. It is one of the essential parts of cells.

It is basically made up of the cytosol (water, salts and proteins that, together, give it a gelatinous density), the cytoskeleton (proteins that support the cell) and organelles or organelles (compartments with specialized functions).

The cytoplasm in eukaryotic cells (with a defined cell nucleus), encompasses everything that is found within the cytoplasmic membrane and outside the nuclear envelope.

In contrast, the cytoplasm of prokaryotic cells (without a defined nucleus) is all that is found inside the cell, wrapped in the plasma membrane.

Cytoplasm function

The cytoplasm has three fundamental functions, namely: it gives support, shape and movement to the cell, it stores molecules and cellular organelles and it nourishes the cell by transforming the substances received into energy. This means that while it stores, it allows the mobility of the necessary substances.

See also Function of the cytoplasm.

Parts of the cytoplasm

The cytoplasm is, in turn, divided into three fundamental parts: cytoplasmic matrix or cytosol, cytoskeleton, and organelles.

Cytoplasmic matrix or cytosol

It is the gelatinous-looking solution, and it is defined as that section that is not contained in the organelles. Its role is to store sugars, amino acids, potassium and calcium, among other substances necessary for cell life.

In the cytosol, most of the metabolic reactions of cells occur, both prokaryotic (without a defined nucleus) and eukaryotic (with a cell nucleus).


The cytoskeleton is a network that shapes the cell through a structure of microfilaments, intermediate filaments, and microtubules made of proteins. This structure participates in the processes of cyclosis and mitosis.


They are small organs contained in the cytoplasmic matrix. They are divided into membranous and non-membranous. The essential organelles of the cell include the following: ribosomes, lysosomes, and vacuoles.

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