This experiment investigates how changing the temperature of water will affect the rate of osmosis of water into the potato cubes. This relates to a specific biological process in the body such as osmosis of water between the extracellular fluid of blood and the red blood cells. By investigating, the effect of temperature on this process of osmosis will allow better understanding and ultimately answering the question of- how does changing human body temperature (eg. fever, hypothermia, hyperthermia) effect hydration levels of red blood cells in the body? It is hypothesised that increasing the temperature will cause the rate of osmosis to increase at a faster rate due to the increase in permeability of the membrane. This experiment was conducted by having a cold and hot experiment. The potato cubes were weighed before and after placing the cube in the water for one minute for hot and cold water tests. If the potato cube gained a greater mass, it would be because of a faster rate of osmosis. The results showed that after emovin the outliers, the trend lines followed the hypothesis in that, the hotter experiment had a faster rate of percentage change increase than the cold water experiment. Therefore, showing that in the human body, when there is a higher body temperature (fever), the rate of osmosis between extracellular fluid and red blood cells would occur at a faster rate than if the body was at normal temperature. If this experiment was to be repeated again, it would be recommended to dry the potato in the same manner for each experiment in order to avoid inaccuracies and anomalies in the data.
Osmosis is the process in which water molecules of a solvent pass through a semi permeable membrane. The molecules move from an area of less concentrated solution, through a semi-permeable membrane and into a more concentrated solution-this is known as the concentration gradient (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2017). The process of osmosis is illustrated in figure 1.
Figure 1- Process of Osmosis
Osmosis is the reason that the nutrients and minerals can enter cells. Allowing for cell survival. A specific example of this is in the body osmosis occurs between red blod cells and the extracellular fluid. Osmolarity is the concentration of the total amount of solutes in the solution. As shown in figure 2, hypertonic red blood cells have a higher osmolarity in the extracellular fluid, therefore the water inside the red blood cells will move out into the extracellular fluid, causing a shrinkage in the red blood cell. In the reverse case, if the extracellular fluid has a higher osmolarity than the cells cytoplasm, its said to be hypertonic, hyper meaning greater than to the cell, and water will move out of the cell to the region of higher solute concentration. In an isotonic solution, iso meaning the same. The extracellular fluid has the same osmolarity as the cell, and there will be no net movement of water into or out of the cell.