Difference Between Cytoplasm and Cytoskeleton (With Table)

The cell’s cytoplasm and cytoskeleton are major essential constituents. The cellular unit is thought to be life’s tiniest functional unit. It’s made up of a plasma enclosed by a selectively permeable membrane that halts numerous organelles and chemicals. The cell’s functioning is dependent on all building elements as well as chemicals.

When researching cellular science, the terms cytoplasm and cytoskeleton are often used. Even if they might appear to be interchangeable at first, they are distinct words. With the assistance of this essay, we can better comprehend both of them and contrast them.

Cytoplasm vs Cytoskeleton

The main difference between cytoplasm and cytoskeleton is that cytoplasm is the viscous, mucilaginous fluid in which the cell organelles are deposited, whereas cytoskeleton is the cytoplasmic structure of protein fibers and capillaries. The cytoplasm is found in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, although only eukaryotes have a cytoskeleton structure in them.

The cytoplasm is a viscous liquid that surrounds each cellular organelle and is surrounded by the cellular membrane. Moisture, minerals, and enzymes make up the majority of it. The cytoplasm of eukaryotes comprises all of the substances within the cell but outside the nuclei. The cytoplasm contains all of the components found in eukaryotic cells, including the nuclei, Golgi apparatus, and mitochondria.

The cytosol is indeed the part of the cytoplasm that is not included in the compartments. Even though cytoplasm appears to be devoid of shape or organization, it is actually quite well organized.

The cytoskeleton is a complex mechanism that constantly breaks down and rebuilds in sections. It may be present in all prokaryotic as well as in eukaryotic cells, including those of plants, animals, and fungi. The proteins that constitute the cytoskeleton in different animals’ cells are unique, with unique characteristics and connections.

Animals and human cells’ cytoskeletons are composed of three major protein components: actin microtubules, ubiquitin microfilaments, and gap junctions. The cytoskeleton is a component of the cytoplasmic area that assists the cell to maintain its shape and organization. It also acts as a physical barrier, preventing the cell from imploding.

Comparison Table Between Cytoplasm and Cytoskeleton

Parameters of ComparisonCytoplasmCytoskeleton
DefinitionCytoplasm is a viscous mucilaginous fluid found inside all cell lineages and it acts as a base for every cell organelle.The cytoskeleton is a framework which helps cells retain their form and internal order, as well as providing physical stability for cell division and motion.
ConstituentsThe cytoplasm is made up of three main components: cytosol, eukaryotic cell structures, and cell expansions such as carotenoids, vesicles, and glycogens.Protein fibres, actin, and tubulin are the three components that make up the cytoskeleton.
UtilityActs as a temperature regulator and a base for cell organelles.Acts as a network that binds the cell together and helps in the retention of the cell structure.
StructureDiffused and gooey that helps in keeping other cell organelles afloat.Network-like structure made up of microtubules and microfibrils.
Cell Wall SynthesisCytoplasm is not involved in cell wall synthesis.Cytoskeleton helps in cell wall formation.

What is Cytoplasm?

The cytoplasm is a viscous mucilaginous fluid found inside all cell lineages. Both prokaryotic, as well as eukaryotic cells, contain it. Prokaryotes are unicellular organisms that lack nuclei. Cells agglomerated in eukaryotic cells. The nuclear membrane is the name for the cytoplasm that is distinct from the nucleus.

Both plant and animal cells require cytoplasmic organelle to operate properly. Many tiny structures, such as monocytes, Golgi complex, zona pellucida, and others, are found within each cell. The cell’s cytosol these organelles, which are floating in it.

Many dispersed proteins inside the cytoplasm aid to simplify and disintegrating bigger particles into smaller ones so that they’ll be utilized by the various cell organelles. The molecule of glucose, for instance, is too large to reach the mitochondrial organelle for cell respiration. As a result, within the cytoplasm, it is subdivided into a single substance and small pieces, which are subsequently taken by the mitochondria for more usage.

The primary purpose of cytoplasm is to keep organelles suspended. By holding various types of biomolecules, it creates a favorable redox balance and suitable bases for the occurrence of biological processes. Other macro and biomolecules are spread throughout the basal part of the cytoplasm. The density of biomolecules in various parts of the cytoplasm may vary. This is referred to as crowding. Cytoplasmic streaming refers to the flow of plant cell cytoplasm surrounded by a cell wall.

What is Cytoskeleton?

The cytoskeleton is a framework that helps cells retain their form and the internal order, as well as providing physical stability for cell division and motion. There is also no single element of the cytoskeletal system. The cytoskeleton is made up of numerous separate components that contribute to making it.

The cytoskeleton is made up of microtubules, extracellular matrix, and myofibrils. The cytoskeleton is equipped with various fibers; the smallest fibers are microfilaments, whereas the strongest fibers are microtubules along with microfibrils.

Microtubules allow the cell organelles including vesicles to freely move within the cytoplasm. During cellular division, they help create the spindle fibers. The cell’s shape is maintained by both microfilaments and gap junctions. Motor enzymes, which continuously move fibers in the cytoskeleton, are also an active part of both the cytoskeleton and cytoplasm.

The cytoskeleton is involved in signaling among cells, ion absorption from extravascular space (endocytosis), and genetic segregation throughout cell division and mother-daughter cell proliferation (cytokinesis). The cytoskeleton aids in the transport of chemicals and nutrients within cells. The cytoskeleton is also thought to serve as a blueprint for such building of cell walls, as well as forming cilia and flagella which are structures that aid in cellular motion.

Main Differences between Cytoplasm and Cytoskeleton

  1. The cytoplasm is an important organelle present in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes whereas cytoskeleton is only present in eukaryotes.
  2. The cytoplasm consists of cytosol, organelles, and vacuoles whereas cytoskeleton comprises protein fibers like microfibrils and microtubules.
  3. Cytoplasm functions as a base for every cell organelle whereas cytoskeleton act as a network for the entire cell.
  4. Cytoplasm holds every cell organelle and provides the proper environment for biochemical reactions in a cell whereas cytoskeleton helps in the movement of the organelles and retain the shape of the cell.
  5. The cytoplasm is a dense and thick liquid whereas cytoskeleton is net-like and very robust in nature.


The cell’s cytoplasm, as well as the cytoskeleton, are two major parts of any cell (eukaryotic only for cytoskeleton). The aqueous cytoplasm is made up of cytosol, organelles, the cytoskeleton, plus exceptions. Microfilaments, microtubules, and extracellular matrix make up the cytoskeleton. The cytoplasm offers a defined environment for the cell’s biological processes.

The cytoskeleton controls mobility within the cell whilst retaining its structural framework and form. The structure and function of every element inside the cell are the primary differences between cytoplasm versus cytoskeleton.


  1. https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/microtubules-and-filaments-14052932/
  2. https://byjus.com/biology/cytoplasm-structure-function/
2D vs 3D