Edited by Jamie (ScienceAid Editor), Taylor (ScienceAid Editor), Administrator, vcdanht


About Osmosis

We already know what diffusion is, and osmosis is simply a special type of diffusion, where only some molecules can move because they can pass through a partially permeable membrane:

diagram showing how osmosis works

The left has a high concentration of water and the right a low concentration. By diffusion, water will naturally level out and pass through the membrane. The solute, however will not be able to diffuse, as they can't fit through the membrane.

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Therefore we define osmosis as: the net movement of water from a dilute to a concentrated solution, through a partially permeable membrane.


Osmosis plays an important role in maintaining the turgidity of cells. If they are in a solution of distilled water for example, the cell will take on more water molecules without losing the precious nutrients. And become turgid

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how a plant cell reacts to being in different concentrations of water.

If, on the other hand, you surround the cell with a highly concentrated glucose solution, there will be a net movement of water molecules away from the cell. Therefore the cell will become floppy and flaccid.

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Categories : Cell

Recent edits by: Administrator, Taylor (ScienceAid Editor), Jamie (ScienceAid Editor)

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