# A red blood cell is put into a glass with 20% solute. What will happen to the red blood cell if it contains 95% water in its cytoplasm?

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Feb 9, 2018

Red blood cell will shrink.

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Now let's check out how it will happen:
The glass of water has 20% solutes while the cell contains 95% water in its cytoplasm. This means that the concentration of solutes outside the cell is more than which is inside the cell. And thus, we can say that red blood cell has been placed in an environment which is hypertonic as compared to intracellular environment of cell.

Thus, water molecules from the cytoplasm of red blood cell where they are in higher concentration will move to the solution in the glass where they are in lower concentration, comparatively, by crossing the semi-permeable membrane of the cell. This movement of ${H}_{2} O$ molecules is called osmosis.

Now as the red blood cell is losing water, it will shrink. And water molecules will keep on moving by osmosis until the equilibrium is achieved.

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Feb 9, 2018

If the red blood cell [that has low concentration of solute (5%)] is placed in a solution with a higher concentration of solute(20%) , water moves out of the red blood cell and becomes a smaller cell by a process called osmosis.

Osmosis process is the moving of the solvent from a solution with low concentration of solute to a solution with higher concentration of solute.

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