The cytoplasm is the part of a cell that is enclosed within the plasma membrane. In eukaryotic cells, the cytoplasm contains organelles, such as mitochondria, which are filled with liquid that is kept separate from the rest of the cytoplasm by biological membranes. The contents of the cell nucleus are not part of the cytoplasm and are instead called the nucleoplasm. The cytoplasm is the site where most cellular activities occur, such as many metabolic pathways like glycolysis, and processes such as cell division. The inner, granular mass is called the endoplasm and the outer, clear and glassy layer is called the cell cortex or the ectoplasm.
The part of the cytoplasm that is not held within organelles is called the cytosol. The cytosol is a complex mixture of cytoskeleton filaments, dissolved molecules, and water that fills much of the volume of a cell. The cytosol is a gel, with a network of fibers dispersed through water. Due to this network of pores and high concentrations of dissolved macromolecules, such as proteins, an effect called macromolecular crowding occurs and the cytosol does not act as an ideal solution. This crowding effect alters how the components of the cytosol interact with each other.
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