Are you studying biology as a GCSE or A level subject via the awarding body Oxford, Cambridge and RSA (OCR) in the UK? Are you too aiming to get a distinction in your OCR A-level Biology osmosis? Well, if you are too having trouble discerning the lesson “Osmosis and cells”, do not worry because My Assignment Services has got your back now, so get all sorts of help with OCR biology osmosis here, regardless of the level of your study and sub-topic of osmosis you are facing trouble understanding. Do you too often get confused while interpreting what water potential and its gradient is? We understand that there can be several factors hindering you from performing your best, including your incomprehension of the subject matter and simply the lack of interest in this topic. That is why we have for you an amazing OCR biology osmosis coursework help that will fetch the finest of grades for you. 

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What is Osmosis in Biology?

Osmosis is the movement of water molecules into and out of the cells, down the water potential gradient (Ψ). Osmosis is a vital process because almost all the cells use water to carry out the chemical processes needed for our survival. The process of osmosis is similar to that of diffusion as in osmosis the water molecules move from the area of high water concentration (having higher water potential) to the area of low concentration (having lower water potential), via a partially permeable (or selectively permeable) membrane is a passive process, i.e. it requires no energy. Therefore, the movement of water molecules is highly dependent on how to dilute or concentrated the surrounding solution is. The solution is said to be more dilute if there are more water molecules than the solute molecules in it (a high water concentration), and more concentrated if fewer water molecules are present in it (a low water concentration). 

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Henceforward, following the occurrence of osmosis, cells become bigger or smaller. When the water comes in, the mass of the cell increases and the cell will swell up. As the cell loses water due to osmosis, it shrinks, and the mass decreases. Our biology experts who provide help with OCR biology osmosis coursework to scholars like you often encounter assessment tasks from the mass change topic of osmosis. So, how do we calculate the percentage change in the mass? To calculate the net percentage of mass change, the following formula is used:

Percentage change in mass = (Final mass – Initial mass) / Initial Mass x 100% 

Thus, if a group of cells weighed 6.5 grams before osmosis and 10.5 grams after osmosis, the net percentage change of their mass will be: (10.5 – 6.5) / 6.5 x 100 = 61.5%

What Are the Types of Osmosis? 

Osmosis can be of two types, namely, endosmosis and exosmosis based on the type of osmosis solutions. Endosmosis happens when a substance (cell) is kept in a hypotonic solution, i.e. having solvent or water concentration more than that of the cell, and the molecules of solvent move inside the cell, making it rigid. Exosmosis, on the other hand, occurs when a substance is kept in a hypertonic solution, i.e. having solvent or water concentration lower than that of the cell, and the molecules of solvent move out from the cell to the hypertonic solution, making the cell flaccid. There is a third type of osmosis solution also, namely, the isotonic solution, which has an identical solvent concentration as that inside the cell, keeping a cell in an isotonic solution thus, brings about no change in the shape or size of the cell. 

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Want to know an example of osmosis as a part of your mundane life? Well, doesn't the raisin gets all puffed up when kept in the water? Or don't your fingers get pruned when you stay in the bathtub for long? All these are real-life examples of osmosis. Surprisingly, the process of sweating occurring now and then on our bodies also makes use of osmosis.

What are the Effects of Osmosis in Plant and Animal Cells?

Due to the difference in the composition of plant and animal cells, the effects of osmosis in animal cells and plant cells are also different. Due to the presence of cell wall in plant cells, when a plant cell is placed in a hypotonic solution, it swells up only to a certain extent until the internal pressure of the cell becomes equal to the outside pressure. The cell becomes turgid, and no further intake of the solvent occurs. Since animal cells lack a cell wall, when these are kept in a hypotonic solution, they swell up and burst. On the other and, when plant cells are kept in a hypertonic solution, the solvent (water) from their cytoplasm diffuses out, and the cells become flaccid. The cytoplasm of the plant cells shrinks and are pulled away from the outer cell wall. Similarly, water moves out of the animal cells when they are kept in a hypertonic solution, making them shrunken. That is why animal cells have to be always surrounded by an isotonic solution, which in human bodies is maintained by the kidneys. 

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