Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 9 years ago

If the solution is more concentrated in hypertonic solution then why does water move out of cell??WHY IS THIS?

Wouldn't it make sense for water to move into the cell to balance things out instead of making the difference in concentration greater. same with hypo tonic if the cell is more concentrated shouldnt water move out of the cell?? WHY NOT?

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The hypertonic solution has a high solute concentration, higher than the solute concentration in the cell. Water moves out of the cell by osmosis. Osmosis is when water moves across a semipermeable membrane from an area of low solute concentration to an area of high solute concentration.

    So basically, the solution is concentrated, the inside of the cell is dilute, thus, water moves out the cell to dilute the water and try and balance the concentrations in and out of the cell.

    In a hypotonic solution, the concentration of solutes is lower than inside the cell. Thus, water moves into the cell from an area of low solute concentration to an area of high solute concentration.

    So just remember, water moves by osmosis, from low SOLUTE concentration to high SOLUTE concentration, whereas diffusion is the movement of solutes from an area of of high solute concentration to an area of low solute concentration.

    Both are trying to balance the concentration of solutes, but in different ways: osmosis moves the water whereas diffusion moves the solutes.

  • Roland
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    The way you are expressing this problem is not clear.

    Let's see if we can get it straight.

    First, be sure you realize that the terms hypertonic and hypotonic are relative, and are comparing one solution to another.

    When you say "if the solution is . . . hypertonic", I assume you mean that the solution outside the cell is hypertonic (compared to the solution inside the cell). If so, that means that the concentration of water (molecules per ml) is higher inside the cell than outside. (Hypertonic means higher solute concentration, so lower water concentration.) So if the water concentration is higher inside the cell, then more water molecules will leave the cell than will enter. Therefore the NET movement of water (osmosis) will be OUT of the cell.

    And this WILL tend to balance things out, as you suggest.

    That is, things will tend toward equilibrium.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    A hypertonic solution gas a lower water potential and so water will move from the cell to the solution from a region of high water potential (cell contents are more dilute) to the low water potential solution by osmosis.

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