Cell Membrane Lab

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Lab #1: Cell Membrane

Prepared for

Gary V. Lawrence

Biology 0983


Zane Jeffels

Partners: Lily Juno, Huynh, and Lin Yan Sun


October 11th, 2010


October 25th, 2010

King Edward Campus- Rm. 3275

Vancouver Community College


The purpose of this lab was to determine if hemolysis would occur, and how long it would take to occur to red blood cells when blood suspension is introduced to solutions prepared at different temperatures, and solutions prepared at different tonicities.  In part 1, red blood cells were suspended in four different solutions of NaCl (Sodium Chloride) and timed to see if and how long it would take for hemolysis to occur.   In Part 4, blood suspension containing red blood cells was introduced to three solutions with 0.5mL of Ethylene Glycol, each measured at a different temperature(C), and timed to see how many seconds hemolysis would take.  

Results of this lab do support the proposed hypotheses, as hemolysis did occur to the red blood cells introduced to both hypotonic solutions of NaCl, and the rate at which hemolysis took place was much more rapid as the temperature was increased.  The solution with the most rapid hemolysis time was 0.18% NaCl and following close behind was the 0.45% NaCl.  This makes sense because water, with the help of transport proteins called aquaporins, will diffuse from its’ high concentration outside the cell membrane to low concentration inside the cell causing the cell to burst.  The solution with the highest temperature, which we measured at 38 C, caused hemolysis to occur fastest, and the solution with the lowest temperature, 8 C, caused hemolysis to occur the slowest.  The higher temperature a solution is the faster hemolysis will occur due to molecules moving faster, causing the rate of diffusion and osmosis to increase.  Thus, the regulation of temperature and tonicity is essential to the survival of living cells.

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