ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Phospholipids are Fat Molecules Attracted To and From Water

Updated on July 19, 2013

Phospholipids Are Fats (Lipids)

Phospholipids are fat molecules in the human body that have both hydrophilic heads and hydrophobic tails. The heads of phosopholipids are attracted to water, and the tails are repelled by water. Phospholipids exist in all cell membranes. The heads of phospholipids are lined up together attracted to water while the hydrophobic tails are lined up against each other, and are repelled by water. Phospholipids belong to a class of lipids, which are fats, and are a major component of all cell membranes. Phospholipids are taught in anatiomy classes. Cells can't exist without phospholipids, because they make up the membranes of the cells, and they form a barrier to the outside world. Phospholipids have bi-layers with embedded proteins throughout the structure of the bi-layers. Cells will only allow certain materials to pass in and out of their structures. Phospholipids form double layers, also, called bi-layers with the heads attracted to water, and the tails repelled by water at the same time. All lipids are fats.


A Phospholipid with Tails
A Phospholipid with Tails | Source

Phospholipids Form Bi-Layers

Phospholipids form bi-layers with the heads toward water and the tails away from the water. The heads of the phospholipids are polar and the tails are non-polar. The tails are always in the center of the bi-layer away from water. What are phospholipids? phospholipids are phosphorous containing fats, they are molecules of glycerol, two chains of fatty acid, and a phosphate group that is polar (hydrophilic) - interacts with water. The fatty acid tails are non-polar (hydrophobic) - do not interact with water.The first phospholipid was identified by French Chemist and Pharmacist Theodore Nicolas Gobley in 1847, which was lecithin.


Phospholipids and Cells

Phospholipids are molecules that surround cells protecting them, and transporting nutrients through cell walls. Phospholipids have two fatty acids and a phosphate group, which makes phospholipids not true fats. When phospholipids are placed in water, the heads turn toward the water, and the tails are turned inward towards each other away from the water, and the phospholipids arrange themselves to form bi-layers. Phospholipids have a head, neck, and tails. A cell is the smallest unit of life, and cells have three ways of transporting materials in and out of themselves.The three ways cells have of transporting materials in and out of cells are: Active transport, Passive transport, and Diffusion. Phospholipids are not ridged structures, but are fluid structures. The cytosol is the fluid in the cell that contains mostly water along with other disolved substances in the cell.


The Structure of Phospholipids
The Structure of Phospholipids | Source

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)