Investigating Osmosis in Potatoe Tissue

Investigating Osmosis in Potatoe Tissue

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Investigating Osmosis in Potatoe Tissue

To find out how the concentration of sucrose solution affects the rate
of osmosis in a potato and what happens to the length and mass of the
potato.

What is osmosis?

Osmosis is the movement of the water molecules across a partially
permeable from a region of high water concentration to a region of low
water concentration.

Osmosis is a special case of diffusion

The biochemical process in living cells always takes place in a
solution. A solution is made up of a solvent (the dissolving fluid)
and solute (the particles dissolved in the solvent). In living
organisms, the solvent is water and the solution is called aqueous
solution.

Living cells are separated from their surroundings by the partially
permeable cell surface membrane. The contents of the cell, the
cytoplasm, are one aqueous solution and the surroundings of the cell,
for example pond water, is another aqueous solution. If the two
solutions do not have the same concentration of various substances,
molecules may move away from one to the other by diffusion, if the
membrane is permeable these substances. To summarise osmosis:

The diffusion of water molecules, down a water potential gradiant
across a partially permeable membrane.

Cells and osmosis

A cell is surrounded by a partially permeable membrane, and water may
cross the membrane easily. If cell is placed in a solution of lower
water potential, water leaves the cell by osmosis. If the cell is
placed in a solution of higher water potential, water enters by
osmosis.

Plant cells and osmosis

When water enters a plant cell by osmosis the cytoplasm will swell,
but only until it pushes against the cellulose cell wall, as shown
below. The strong wall stops the cells from bursting. We say that the
cell is turgid. A plant cell will not be permanently damaged by the
entry of water. If water leaves a plant cell by osmosis the cytoplasm
will shrink, but the cellulose cell wall will continue to give some

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support. Plant cells rarely suffer permanent damage by the loss of
water.

Picture of Animal Cell

[IMAGE]

Animal cells and osmosis

Animal cells have no cell wall, just a membrane. The are likely to
suffer damage as a result of osmosis.

Osmosis is potentially damaging to animal cells, and animals have
mechanisms to keep the blood plasma and the body fluids at the same
water potential as the cytoplasm of cells. In mammals the kidney plays
a vital part in the process of osmoregulation.

Picture of an animal cell

[IMAGE]

Active transport requires energy to move materials

Molecules and ions can move from one place to another by diffusion,
but only until equilibrium has been reached. If no concentration
gradient exists between the two places, no diffusion can occur- this
means that if equilibrium has been reached, useful particles cannot be
absorbed by diffusion. Active transport is a method by which particles
can cross membrane even against a concentration gradient. In active
transport, protein molecules in the cell surface membrane pick up and
carry particles across the membrane. Theses protein molecules are
called carriers, and when they work they use energy supplied by the
cell. To summarise active transport:

Can move molecules against a concentration gradient but requires
energy and involves protein carriers in membranes.

Plasmolysis and Haemolysis

When cells are placed in a strong solution plasmolysis happens.
Plasmolysis: when cells are placed in a strong solution and water
passes out of cells by osmosis- the vacuole starts to shrink. These
cells are no longer form, they are limp we say they are flaccid. As
more water leaves the cells cytoplasm peels away from the cell wall.
These cells are now plasmolsed.

When animals cells are placed in a strong solution - what happens? The
water passes into the cells by osmosis. When red blood cells are
placed in the distilled water, animal cells do not have a cell wall to
stop when swelling too much. So they burst. We can theses haemolysis.

Prediction:

I predict in pure distilled water the potato tubes swell because water
enters the cells by osmosis. Also I predict the potatoes in the rich
sugar solution will shrink because water leaves their cells due to
osmosis.

Preliminary

The table of my results for my preliminary experiment are as follows:

Concentration

Water

0.25M

0.5M

1M

Starting length of potato

2cm

2cm

2cm

2cm

Mass at start

1.05g

1.05 g

1.05g

1.05g

Final length of potato

2.1of all potatoes

2.1 of all potatoes

1.9 of all the potatoes

2.1of all potatoes

Final mass of potato

0.8 of all the potatoes

0.8 of all the potatoes

0.6 of all the potatoes

0.5 of all the potatoes

I did a preliminary so that I would know how to do the experiment. I
needed to do the preliminary experiment so that it would help me
because the way we are going to do the real experiment is exactly the
same method as the experiment that I was going to do. So this helped
me know what equipment to use and what results to expect. This also
helps me to see if am doing the experiment correctly or not. From my
preliminary I have decided the length of the potato to be 2 cm.

A graph for my preliminary results

[IMAGE]


Apparatus:

Test tubes - to put the solutions in.

Test tube rack- to put the test tube in.

Different molarities of sugar solution (sucrose)

Ruler- to measure the length of the potato accurately.

Knife- to cut the potato at the right length.

Potato- to see the effect on osmosis and length and mass.

Clock - to measure how long it takes.

Borer- to cut the potato to the same thickness.

Cutting tile- a tile where you cut your potato.

Distilled water - to compare with sucrose solution results.

Measuring scale - measure the weight of the potato before and after

Tongs- to take the potatoes out of the sucrose solution.

Sticky labels- to label the beakers with the different concentration.

Tissues- to dry the potato.

Beakers- - do the experiment in.

Fair Testing

Fair testing should play a big part in this experiment. If this
experiment isn't a fair test, we will be obtaining the wrong results,
which could lead us to the wrong conclusions.

Constant

1. I kept the length of the potato the same.

2. The beginning mass stays the same.

3. I kept the amount of sucrose solution the same.

4. The time each one was kept for was the same.

5. The same sized beakers were used.

6. I will use the same potato.

7. To keep the temperature the same (keep in the same area of the
room)

Variables

To create a fair test certain aspects of the experiment will have to
be kept the same whilst one key variable is changed. I have chosen to
vary the concentration of the sugar solution. This will give me a very
varied set of results from which I hope to make a decent conclusion.
If any of the non-variables below are not kept constant it would mean
it would not be a fair test.

Safety

Safety is an important aspect in every experiment, even if the
experiment seems to be very harmless. This is why I'll be taking this
into consideration.

We had to tie our scarf's back to avoid them coming in our way. If
your shoe has shoe laces then tie them before you begin. Take hats and
other loose items which may get it the way off to prevent accidents
.All bags and coats should be out of the way to prevent people
tripping over. I will be using a very sharp knife, which could injure
someone if it's not handled properly. I will also be very careful that
the solutions don't get into our bodies internally, just in case,
because we are not fully aware of the damage it could do to us. I will
be wearing a lab coat to prevent this from happening. To be extra
precautious wears goggles to prevent the sucrose solution spilling
into the eyes.

But apart from all theses there is not any major caution you need to
take.

Method:

1. Get a potato

2. Cut the potatoes with a borer so that the thickness (width) is
even. This should be done placed on a cutting tile.

4. Next take a sharp knife and a ruler and use this to make the length
of the potato preciously 2cm. Cut 20 pieces in this precise order.

3. Get for potatoes pieces that you cut and place them on a measuring
scale individually and measure the mass and length and record your
result.

4. Get a beaker of distilled water. Add the for potatoes at the same
time leave for 20 minutes and see what happens. Keep going up every 20
minutes until you reach 80 minutes. Record your results.

5. Remove the potatoes immediately with tongs drying them with tissue.
Put each potato individually on the electronic weighing scale and
measure the mass and length of the potato. Record your results.

Repeat the experiment exactly as shown in the above procedure but this
time instead of distilled water use 0.17 M, 0.25M, 0.5 M and 1M.

Analysis

I assume I have done my experiment correctly as my bar charts turned
out looking reasonable to my result. Nothing went wrong. There was
evidence osmosis took place because in rich sucrose solution all the
potatoes shrunk due the fact water leaves the cells due to osmosis. In
pure distilled water the potatoes swelled up. To find out the average
mass of the potato chip you have to all the masses of the potato
together and divide by how many potatoes samples they are. Then use
the formula for change in mass which is change/original x 100 to find
out the percentage in mass.
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