Cell Wall vs. Cell Membrane

How are cell wall and cell membrane different from each other?

There is a lot of difference between a cell wall and a cell membrane, but many people think that the terms refer to the same thing. That is because in order to understand the difference between them, you have to understand how they are used. They refer to the same thing in a way, but cell walls are found in plant cells and cell membranes are found in animal cells.

A plant cell is surrounded by a cell wall that is very tough and rigid and is located outside the cell membrane. In this way the cell wall offers the plant cell the ultimate in protection. The cell membrane is different because it is only a layer that protects the matter inside the cells from the environment that is outside them.

About the cell wall

The purpose of the cell wall is to contain the matter inside the cell and prevent any of it from leaking to the outside. This leads into another function because this purpose also helps the cells to retain water. Even though it is very strong and tends to be rigid it can become flexible and bend. It is made of cellulose and is also permeable so that substances can pass through the wall. In addition to the cellulose the cell wall contains lipoproteins.

About the cell membrane

The cell membrane is responsible for the movement of substances in and out of the cells. It is also essential to several processes that take place in the cells, such as ion conductivity, cell signaling and cell adhesion. The polarization of the cell membrane enables movement to take place in and out of the cells. It is semi-permeable, which means that only certain substances are able to pass through. The cell membrane is made up of both proteins and lipids, but it also contains carbs, steroids and sugars.  It is often referred to as plasma lemma.