The general function of a cell membrane is to create a barrier between the cell and everything else. This is important so that the membrane can monitor what enters the cell so that it can maintain its specific chemical structure.The membrane acts as the transport site for things that move in and out of the cell.
As sdasher mentioned, the cell membrane is the barrier that keeps thing in or out. The selective process of what to let in and what to keep out is accomplished by verious protiens ebedded in the cell membrane. The membrane itself is made of a phospholipid bilayer. This website provides a much more detailed look at how the cell membrane functions and what molecules make it function that way.
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