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Tonicity.

Discussion of all aspects of cellular structure, physiology and communication.

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Tonicity.

Postby pompey2012 » Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:54 am

Hey everyone, i am new to this site.
I was wondering if you could help me with this question:

What would happen if a cell containing 97% water were placed in a 10% salt solution? (A 10% salt solution would contain 90% water)

I need to include the following in my answer:
A. Explain what occurs, why, and how
B. What is the specific name of the transport process? (diffusion, osmosis, dialysis)
C. What is the specific name for what happens to the cell?

I need to complete this questions for an online Anatomy and Physiology class I am taking.
I don't need the answer, i just need someone to explain to me what is happening.
I feel like my book isn't giving me enought information to understand what is happening. :(
I'm pretty sure i am going to need to know if the tonicity is isotonic, hypertonic, or hypotonic, and i can't seem to understand that part.
I have read my book severaly times, and i am still unsure.
If you just give me little hints or somthing, i would appriciate that a bunch!
Please help if you can!
Thank You!
Diana :)
pompey2012
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Re: Tonicity.

Postby Archaic » Sat Apr 02, 2011 10:42 am

If the salt from the solution cannot cross the membrane into the cell, then osmotic pressure will be created. As there's less water in the solution outside the cell, osmosis would occur and water will move out of the cell into the surrounding solution. This is known as hypertonic, as tonicity refers to the amount of solute (level of salt), and this is higher outside the cell than inside the cell. So some of the water would move out to maintain an equal level of water inside and outside the cell. Though bare in mind if the salt solution can cross into the cell through diffusion, what I just mentioned above is irrelevant due to osmosis not occurring as the salt solution will even out inside and outside the cell.

Though as you're doing it for physiology, you may wish to explain more about which area/process you're asking for. I'm guessing the kidney as you mentioned dialysis?
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