Osmosis is the name given to a type of process in which particles move from an area of high concentration in a solvent to an area of low concentration through a partially permeable membrane. Osmosis is a process where energy is not gets wasted. This process takes place until concentration becomes of equal amount on both sides. Any solvent or fluid can undergo the osmosis process, including supercritical liquids and gases.
There are three types of solutions. These are the isotonic, hypertonic, and hypotonic solutions.
Isotonic solution- this solution has the same measure of solutes inside and outside of the cell.
Hypertonic solution- in this solution, there are more solutes outside of the cell than inside of the cell.
Hypotonic solution- in this solution, there are more solutes inside than outside the cell.
Types of osmosis
Endosmosis- suppose a substance is placed on a hypotonic solution, and the molecules present start to move inside the cell. As a result, the cell starts to become turgid. The cell goes through a process called de-plasmolysis.
Exosmosis- suppose a substance is placed on a hypertonic solution, and the molecules present start to move outside the cell. As a result, the cell starts to become flaccid. The cell goes through a process called plasmolysis.
Effect of osmosis on plant and animal cells
An animal cell will go through lysis if placed in a hypotonic solution. The walls of a plant cell are much thicker, so it requires more water. The cells of a plant do not burst when placed in a hypotonic solution. The hypotonic solution is considered better for water.
An animal cell can only survive in isotonic solutions. The turgidity of plant cells is lost if they are placed in an isotonic solution. The leaves of the plant start to droop.
A process called reverse osmosis can sometimes occur. In this process, osmosis is stopped, or it gets reversed. It happens when external pressure is applied to the sides of the solutes. Osmotic pressure is the minimum pressure required to stop a solvent's transfer.
The importance of osmosis
- Through the process of osmosis, the transfer of nutrients and the release of metabolic waste from the plant cell take place.
- Waters enter the upper part of a leaf through xylem vessels. The intake of water takes place through the process of osmosis.
- This process balances the amount of fluid that should stay inside a cell.
- To maintain the turgidity of cells, osmosis is required.
- Plants lose water through transpiration and take the water back again through osmosis.
- Cell-to-cell diffusion of water takes place because of this process.