Osmosis Case Study

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To investigate whether osmosis occurs across the membrane of potato cells, and if so, how the concentration of sugar in solution affects the rate of osmosis between the solution and a potato piece of a given size. Introduction and Background information: Osmosis takes place through a semi-permeable membrane, which are very thin layers of material, which allow small molecules to pass through them but prevent other/larger molecules from passing through. Cell membranes will allow small molecules like Oxygen, water, Carbon Dioxide, Ammonia, Glucose, amino acids to pass through. Cell membranes will not allow larger molecules like Sucrose, Starch and protein, to pass through. A region of high concentration of water is either a very dilute solution of something like sucrose or pure water. In each case there is a lot of water: there is a high concentration of water. Osmosis can be defined as the movement of water across a semi-permeable membrane from a region of high water concentration to a region of low water concentration. The semi-permeable membrane allows small particles through it but does not allow large particles such as sodium chloride. Osmosis will continue until a state of equilibrium is reached i.e. there is no area with a higher or lower concentration than another area. To land plants, water and osmosis are vital as they play leading roles in the structural support of a plant. Lack of water will lead to a plant wilting (becoming flaccid) and possibly dying. Osmotic pressure; If a plant was placed in a waterlogged area, where the external solute to the cell (being less concentrated (or hypertonic) to the cell vacuole contents) the cell will not continue to take in water via osmosis forever. The cell wall made of cellulose acts as a firm barrier to any more expansion. Once the cell is full of water, it is said to be turgid. This means that the inward

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