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Diffusion - Paper

  • Date Submitted: 02/07/2011 10:16 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 56.4 
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Diffusion is the net movement of particles from an area of higher concentration to an area of a lower concentration, and osmosis is the net movement of water across a selective permeable membrane (Biology Department, 2008).   The molecules can enter and leave the cell through a selective permeable membrane which allows molecules to enter the cells cytoplasm depending on their size, hydrophobicity and charge. There three types of water movement in osmosis. First is the isotonic solution which has no net water movement which means the concentrations inside and outside the cell is equal and the cell reached equilibrium. Hypertonic solution is when the water moves outside the cell, while hypotonic solution is the movement of water towards the inside of the cell (Biology Department, 2008).
Osmosis has different effects on plant and animal cells. If an animal cell is placed in a hypotonic solution, it will swell and burst. While in plant cell it will only become turgid because of the cell wall that prevents plant cells from bursting. If placed in hypertonic solution, the animal cell will become crenate while the plant cell will only shrink its vacuole but will not lose its shape because the cell wall keeps the cells shape (Biology Department, 2008). The surface area to value ratio plays a big role in effecting the plant and animal cells from the point of osmosis and diffusion as this experiment demonstrates.
The goal of this experiment is to determine the osmolarity, calculate the percent weight change of plant cells in a solution of sucrose with different concentrations, determine whether the surface area to volume ratio has effect on osmosis, and finally to figure out whether mystery solution A and B are hypertonic or hypotonic solutions.
Materials and methods
The first part of the experiment was to determine the osmolarity of Solanum tuberosum tissues (potato tissues) in different concentrations of sucrose solutions. The concentrations varied from...


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