Osmosis vs. Tonicity – What Is the Effect on Cells

Topic: Other Specialists
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Osmosis occurs because a more concentrated solution has a lower concentration of solvent molecules. A solution with a lower concentration can leak into it by diffusion and dilute it until the attention inside the membrane and outside it becomes the same (Saladin, 2020). The number of water molecules transferred from pure water to a sugar solution through a semipermeable membrane is greater than the amount of water penetrating in the opposite direction.

The terms Osmolarity and Tonicity are closely related to each other. They relate to the concept of the concentration of solutions and how they affect the osmotic pressure. However, the way they express their effects is different from each other. Both terms refer to situations where solutions are separated by permeable membranes, where osmosis occurs. Osmolarity considers all the molecules present in the solution for its collective effect, while Tonicity considers only the concentration of impermeable dissolved molecules in the solution (Argyropoulos et al., 2016). Therefore, we can say that Tonicity measures the external environment while osmolarity concerns the solution itself. This is the main difference between osmolarity and Tonicity.

Critical Thinking

Osmosis is one of the membrane methods of separating solutions into components, based on the transition of molecules through a semipermeable membrane from a volume with a lower concentration of solutes to a higher concentration. Thus, in the process of conventional osmosis, it is possible to obtain a solution more saturated with trace elements, and with reverse osmosis, on the contrary, to rid it of impurities.

To memorize and assimilate information, I often use various articles or videos on YouTube, in which everything is explained simply enough to keep the information in memory. It should be noted why this information is essential for the world. Reverse osmosis filters remove chlorine, iron, heavy metal ions, insecticides, fertilizers, arsenic, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and other vital trace elements from the water.

There is no unambiguous opinion about the benefits or harm of such water for health. Some doctors believe its systematic use negatively affects the work of the cardiovascular system, the normal functioning of which directly depends on the intake of sufficient amounts of potassium and magnesium into the body.


Argyropoulos, C., Rondon-Berrios, H., Raj, D. S., Malhotra, D., Agaba, E. I., Rohrscheib, M., Khitan, Z., Murata, G. H., Shapiro, J. I., & Tzamaloukas, A. H. (2016). Hypertonicity: Pathophysiologic Concept and Experimental Studies. Cureus, 8(5), e596. Web.

Saladin, K. (2020). Anatomy & physiology: The unit of form and function (9th ed.). McGraw Hill Education.

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