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n. (context cytology English) The process by which the plasma membrane of a cell folds inwards to ingest material.


Endocytosis is a form of active transport in which a cell transports molecules (such as proteins) into the cell (endo- + cytosis) by engulfing them in an energy-using process. Endocytosis and its counterpart, exocytosis, are used by all cells because most chemical substances important to them are large polar molecules that cannot pass through the hydrophobic plasma or cell membrane by passive means.

Endocytosis includes pinocytosis (cell drinking) and phagocytosis (cell eating).