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Osmosis and the Visking Tubing

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Osmosis and the Visking Tubing

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  • May 2013
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Osmosis is the net movement of water from a high concentration of water to a low concentration of water down a concentration gradient. This is done to equalise the solute concentrations on the two sides. Therefore, in other words, the movement of water is depended on the concentration of dissolved solute in the water (in this case the sucrose) and if there are a higher concentration of sucrose in the visking tubing, the water in the beaker will move into the visking tubing to make both solution balanced (isotonic). In order for osmosis to occur naturally, a semi-permeable membrane is required as a medium. A visking tubing is a semi-permeable membrane, therefore it will be used to act as the ‘cell’ for the experiment. This is because the phospholipid bilayer of the cell membrane of an actual cell is selectively permeable, allowing diffusion, osmosis and active transport to occur. The content of the visking tubing (the sucrose solution) will be acting as the cytoplasm of the cell which contains minerals, water, protein etc. If a visking tubing of sucrose is submerged in a hypotonic solution, then the water from the beaker will move into the visking tubing. If another visking tubing of sucrose is submerged in a hypertonic solution, the water in the visking tubing will move out into the beaker. In this experiment, we will be experimenting osmosis by using a hypotonic solution of the solution that the visking tubing is submerged in. Therefore, it is expected, by theory, which the water from the beaker will move into the visking tubing. The principle of osmosis is very important for living things. Osmosis is the basic movement of water through the cell membrane. Without osmosis, there will be an unequal content of solute and solvent in the cytoplasm and the cell will not survive. Osmosis is also very important for the process of dialysis, which is where the blood is being filtered externally using a machine. It allows waste products and minerals to move in or out of...