Allen, Robert Day Department of Biological Science, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire.
Last reviewed:November 2019
- Observation by optical microscopy
- Regional differentiation
- Centrifugal sedimentation of cytoplasm
- Observation by electron microscopes
- Cytoplasmic ultrastructure
- Role in cell division
- Cytoplasmic rheology
- Ground cytoplasm: cytosol and cytoskeleton
- Cytoplasmic motility
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
That portion of living cells bordered externally by the plasma membrane (cell membrane) and internally by the nuclear envelope. In the terminology of classical cytology, the substance in living cells and in living organisms not compartmentalized into cells was called protoplasm. It was assumed at the time that the protoplasm of various cells was similar in structure and chemistry. Results of research on cell chemistry and ultrastructure after about 1960 showed that each cell type had a recognizably different “protoplasm.” Primarily for that reason, the term protoplasm gradually fell into disuse in contemporary biology. The terms cytoplasm and nucleoplasm have been retained and are used descriptively; they are used almost synonymously with the terms cytosome (body of cytoplasm) and nucleus, respectively.
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