Movemen

t of
Substanc
es

Learning Outcome
• Define diffusion and describe the role
of diffusion in nutrients uptake and
gaseous exchange in plants and
humans.
• Define osmosis and describe the effects
of osmosis on plant and animal tissues.
• Define active transport and discuss
its importance as an energyconsuming process (Pure)

Diffusion
• Diffusion is the net movement of
molecules from a region of higher
concentration to a region of lower
concentration, down a
concentration gradient.
• Concentration gradient??
• Difference in concentrations of the substance
between

Diffusion

Moving molecules
In which states are molecules able to diffuse?

solid (e.g. ice)

liquid (e.g. water)

gas (e.g. steam)

Molecules in liquids and gases are constantly moving and bumping into each
other. This means that they tend to spread out.

Diffusion in action: two
gases

Diffusion in action: one gas

Dissolved substance diffuse throughout liquid in
which they are dissolved.

Diffusion
• Can starch diffuse
through the
partially permeable
membrane?
• Can glucose diffuse
through the
partially permeable
membrane?

NO

YES

Examples of diffusion
• Carbon dioxide diffuses from
blood capillary into alveoli and
oxygen diffuses from alveoli into
surrounding blood capillaries.
• The diffusion of carbon dioxide
through the stomata into the
mesophyll cells.
• The diffusion of water vapour
from the leaves during
transpiration.

Diffusion: true or false?

Osmosis
• the net movement of water
molecules
• from a region of higher water
potential to a region of a lower
water potential
• through a partially permeable
membrane

Concentrated Vs. Diluted
Solution A

Solution B

1. 10% salt solution

2% salt solution

2. 80% sugar
solution

100% distilled water

3. 50% salt solution

50% salt solution

Which direction would
osmosis occur?

Osmosis in action!

Partially permeable membrane

Osmosis in Action!

Diffusion
How are they alike?

Osmosi
s

Both involve the movement of molecules
from a region of higher concentration
to a region of lower concentration
How are they different?

1. Involves
movement of all
types of
molecules.
2. Do not involve a
partially
permeable

1. Involves movement of
only water molecules
2. Involve the movement
of water molecules
passing through a
partially permeable
membrane

Osmosis in Living Cells
• Animal Cell
• Plant Cell

What happens when water enters
an Animal Cell
Due to the
absence of
a
cell wall.
Animal cell swells
and may burst.
Why?

What happens when water enters
a Plant Cell
Due to the
presence
of a
cell wall.
Plant cell swells
and becomes
turgid w/o
bursting.

What happens when water exits
an Animal Cell
Little spikes appear
on the plasma
membrane. This
process is called
crenation.

The
animal
cell

shrinks

What happens when water exits
a Plant Cell
Vacuole decreases in
size and cell
becomes soft and
flaccid.

What happens
to the plant?

Wilts
The plant
• Therefore turgor
pressure is important
• To help maintain the
shape of tissues in
plants

MicroQues 3
Four plant cells were placed in 20% sucrose solution,
50% sucrose solution, 80% sucrose solution and
pure water separately.
In the table below,
(a) describe the appearance of the plant cells.
(b) identify the solution that the cells have been
placed in.

MicroQues 3

Cell become
turgid.

No change.

Cell become
flaccid.

Cell become
plasmolysed.

Pure
water

20% sucrose

50% sucrose

80% sucrose

Lets Recap!
• What is diffusion?
• Name some examples of diffusion
• What is osmosis?
• Name some examples of osmosis

Lets Recap!
• What happens when an animal cell is
placed into a concentrated sugar
solution?
• What happens when an animal cell is
placed into distilled water?

Lets Recap!
• What happens when a plant cell is placed
into a concentrated sugar solution?
• What happens when a plant cell is placed
into distilled water?

… Any other modes of
transportation?
Besides diffusion & osmosis?

Active
Transport!

Active Transport
• Requires

energy

• When substances move from a region of
lower concentration to a region of higher
concentration against a concentration
gradient
• Occurs only in living cells as only living cells
respire
• Respiration will release energy where part
of it will be used in active transport

Active transport is the process in
which particles move from a region of
low concentration to a region of high
concentration, against the
concentration gradient, with the use
of energy.

Lets recall…. In Sec 2…
Some examples of active transport
• The absorption of mineral salts from the
surrounding soil solution by root hair cells.

• The absorption of glucose and amino
acids by the epithelium cells in the small
intestines of man, when they are low in
concentration.

Micro Ques 4
Which of the following diagram illustrates the most likely
appearance of a red blood cell that has been placed in
distilled water?

(

D )

Micro Ques 5
A strip of potato, originally 50 mm in length, was measured
after it was soaked in distilled water. Which of the following
graphs A, B, C or D best represents the results?

length of potato
strips/mm

(

A )

Micro Ques 6
The apparatus shown in the diagram was set up. After one
hour, the water in the beaker turned red. What is the most
likely reason for this colour change?

A
B
C
D

Molecules of red ink move through the membrane by diffusion.
Molecules of red ink move through the membrane by osmosis.
Molecules of water move through the membrane by diffusion.
Molecules of water move through the membrane by osmosis.
( A )

Factors affecting the rate of
movement of substances

Surface Area to
Volume Ratio

Surface Area to Volume
Ratio

• Surface Area: measure of how much exposed
area a solid object has, expressed in square units
(x2).

• Volume: how much three-dimensional space a
substance (solid, liquid, gas, or plasma) or shape
occupies and is expressed in cubed units (x3).

• Ratios (Surface Area:Volume):
make comparisons between two things.

Surface area and volume

Have you ever wondered why our body has
such a dense network of blood capillaries?

To increase the SA : Vol for faster rate of
diffusion

To-dos
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