# Question 63ac3

##### 1 Answer
Oct 3, 2015

That depends on what you're comparing them to.

#### Explanation:

From what I can tell from the information you provided, this looks like a lab on osmosis and diffusion, perhaps part of a membrane transport lab?

If that is the case, then you probably have to determine whether or not two solutions are hypertonic, hypotonic, or isotonic, hence the terms relative solute concentration.

The idea here is that the concentrations of these solutions will tell you how much solute, in your case starch for one solution and glucose for the other, you get per 100 g of solution.

The percent concentration by mass of a solution is defined as

$\text{% m/m" = m_"solute"/m_"solution} \times 100$

In essence, a $\text{10%}$ starch solution will contain $\text{10 g}$ of starch and $\text{90 g}$ of water for every $\text{100 g}$ of solution.

The same goes for the 10% glucose solution - it will contain $\text{10 g}$ of glucose and $\text{90 g}$ of water for every $\text{100 g}$ of solution.

Now, to determine the relative solute concentration of two solutions, simply look at how much solute you get for an equal amount of the two solutions.

Now, let's say that you're comparing the 10% starch solution with intracellular fluid that is 9% starch.

This time, the relative solute concentration of the 10% starch solution is greater than the starch concentration of the cell, which implies that the former solution is hypertonic.

As a result, water will diffuse from the cell to the outside of the cell to balance the starch concentration $\to$ the cell will lose water.

Let's sat that you're comparing the 10% glucose solution with intracellular fluid that is 11% glucose.

This time, the relative solute concentration of the 10%# glucose solution is smaller then glucose concentration of the cell, which implies that the former solution is hypotonic.

As a result, water will diffuse inside the cell to balance the concentration of solute $\to$ the cell will gain water.

Anyway, the idea is that the relative solute concentration of a solution can only be given by comparison to the relative solute concentration of another solution.