Phagocytosis is the name given to the process by which a cell wraps part of its cell membrane around an external particle and envelopes it, taking it into the cell (endocytosis).

The scenario depicted here is that of phagocytosis of some material, then the formation of a vescicle to hold the material, then the merging with a lysosome which breaks down the material. The vesicle movements required are aided by microfilaments from the cytoskeleton.

Phagocytosis is a common way for a cell to take in food particles. It is also used by leukocytes (white blood cells) to surround invading bacteria, viruses and other foreign material. These kinds of cells are sometimes called phagocytes because of this function.


Hickman, et al.
Ch 4

Enger & Ross
Ch 4
HyperPhysics***** Biology R Nave
Go Back