- refers to any solution which has a lower osmotic pressure than another solution (that is, has a lower concentration of solutes than another solution)
- In biology, a hypotonic solution refers to a solution that contains less solute (more water) compared to the cytoplasm of the cell. If the solution surrounding the cell is hypotonic osmosis causes water to have a net flow into the cell, thus, resulting in the swelling and expansion of the cell. When an animal cell is set to a hypotonic environment the cell will eventually lyse (rupture) due to the osmotic pressure. In a plant, the cell will not lyse but become turgid because of its cell wall that prevents it from bursting. In fact, it is the osmotic pressure (or turgor pressure) that helps keep the plant from wilting and losing its shape.
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