What happens to a cell as it is placed in a hypertonic solution?

Answer: Cell loses its water molecules.


Hypertonic solution is the one that contains more concentration of solutes relative to the solute concentration in the cytoplasm of the cell. Thus, when cells are put in such a solution, water molecule shift from their higher concentration to their lower concentration. This movement of the water molecule is called osmosis, and it is because everything in the universe tries to reach an equilibrium. In reality, water molecules seek to regulate their concentration in both extracellular and intracellular environment. Thus cell gives its water to the solution it was placed in. It then loses water molecule and shrunk.

What is Osmosis?

Osmosis is a passive process and happens without any expenditure of energy. It involves the movement of molecules from a region of higher concentration to lower concentration until the concentrations become equal on either side of the membrane.

Osmotic Solutions

There are three different types of solutions:

  • Isotonic Solution

  • Hypertonic Solution

  • Hypotonic Solution

  • An isotonic solution is one that has the same concentration of solutes both inside and outside the cell.
  • hypertonic solution is one that has a higher solute concentration outside the cell than inside.
  • hypotonic solution is the one that has a higher solute concentration inside the cell than outside.

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