The Diffusion Across A Cell Membrane

1118 Words May 13th, 2015 5 Pages
Introduction

The diffusion across a cell membrane is a process of passive and spontaneous net movement of small lipophilic molecules. The molecules move from a high concentration to a low concentrated region along the concentration gradient. The result being a point of equilibrium, this is where a random molecular motion continues but there is no longer any net movement. However, there are things that can affect the rate of diffusion, these being temperature, surface area, concentration, size of the molecule, permeability, diffusion distance and concentration difference. Osmosis is a type of diffusion as it is the movement of water molecules through a semipermeable membrane into a region of higher solute concentration. Equilibrium is reached when the solute concentration is equal on both sides. Water potential is measured in kiloPascals, it is the measuring of the concentration of free water molecules that are able to diffuse compared to pure water, which is 0 kilopascals. It is a measure of the tendency of free water molecules to diffuse from one place to another. The result being, the more free water molecules, the higher the Water Potential. However, Water potential is affected by two factors: pressure and the amount of solute.

A model cell was made of a visking tube filled with ‘cell contents’. The cell contents represent the cytoplasm of a cell structure membrane. The visking tube represents the plasma membrane of the cell. It acts as a semi-permeable barrier as…
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