What happens to cells during osmosis?

1 Answer

Cells will either gain or lose water during osmosis.


Osmosis means the diffusion of water into or out of cells.

Water moving into a cell can make the cell swell, or even burst! This happens when cells are placed into a hypotonic solution. Like the egg in distilled (pure) water.

Water leaving a cell can make it shrivel up. This happens when cells are placed into hypertonic solutions. Like the egg in syrup.

Check out the effect osmosis has on the eggs used in this demo

And this video discusses the changes that occur in plant cells when they are placed into hypertonic and hypotonic solutions.

Hope this helps!