Diffusion Of Osmosis And Diffusion

1599 Words Jun 15th, 2015 7 Pages
Osmosis and diffusion are two important processes in the human body that help in the functioning of cells and homeostasis, or maintaining balance within the body. Osmosis is the movement of water from a higher concentration to a lower concentration, and its purpose is to maintain stability between a solvent (water) and a solute. Diffusion is the movement of solutes down their concentration gradient, toward a lesser concentration of solutes, in order to pass a membrane, such as the lipid bilayer of the plasma membrane (Tortora and Derrickson 2012). Diffusion requires no energy and is affected by many different aspects including heat, causing the reaction to occur at a more rapid rate, the size of the particle, and the amount of space in which the diffusion must cover (Tortora and Derrickson 2012). Osmosis is a form of diffusion that is more so for water, and both require no energy. The phospholipid bilayer of the cell membrane is a protective barrier against foreign materials that could harm the cell. The membrane is what is defined as selectively permeable (Tortora and Derrickson 2012) because it only allows certain materials get into it, while keeping others from moving out. The bilayer of the membrane has hydrophilic heads, which work well with water, and hydrophobic tails, which repel water. This difference in the head and tails is what causes only certain materials to be able to enter the membrane without help. Materials that can get in are small, gaseous, and…
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