Anatomy And Physiology: Osmolarity/Tonicity of cells in solution

Posted on November 1, 2010 by

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This diagram shows the relative tonicity of cellls in various solution types and the effect that the solution has on the cell. The first one shows a cell in a normal environment where the ionic concentration outside the cell and inside the cell are equal. The cell is not effected. The second one shows a cell in a solution where there is not as much ionic concentration outside the cell as there is inside the cell. Therefore, the cell takes on water and swells up. The third shows a cell in a solution where the ionic concentration is higher inside the cell. Therefore, in order to compensate for the concentration gradient, water moves out of the cell and the cell shrivels.

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