What is osmosis?

The movement of water from high concentration to low concentration through a semi-permeable membrane is called osmosis.

The factors affecting the rate of osmosis include:


  • If the pressure is applied in excess of the pressure applied by the solvent molecules, the direction of osmosis might change, and the solvent molecules begin to move towards the region with more solvent concentration.


  • The rate of osmosis increase with the increase in temperature of the system.

Surface Area

  • Increase in surface area, more space will be available to the molecules for their movement which in turn will increase the rate of osmosis and vice versa

Water Potential

  • As the water potential of a solution is more, the water molecules can move across the membrane as the pressure exerted by the particles is increased.

Concentration gradient

  • As the concentration of solute molecules is essential in the driving force of osmosis, any changes in the concentration directly affect the rate of osmosis.

It is a common process taking place in most of the biological membrane in organisms. In a biological system, the solvent mostly is water; however, osmosis can also take place in other liquids and even gases.

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