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The Movement of Molecules Through Cells: Role of Diffusion

A cell is the smallest unit of an organism. Molecules within a cell move through the cell membrane by the use of diffusion. Diffusion refers to the process molecules move from a high concentration gradient to a place of the low concentration gradient across a semipermeable membrane(Burini & Chouhad, 2019). Diffusion only takes place in liquids and gases and is affected by several factors like the size of the molecule, molecules concentration, and molecule size. Diffusion also plays a significant role in food absorption and the survival of plants by enabling the absorption of water.

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The size of molecules affects the rate of diffusion, whereby the smaller the size of the molecule, the faster the rate of diffusion and vice versa. For molecules to pass through the membrane, the cell requires energy from the process of cell respiration. Higher concentration impacts diffusion by increasing the rate particles diffuse(Guzmán et al., n.d.). A rise in temperature increases the speed at which diffusion occurs. Lastly, a high surface area to volume ratio affects the rate of diffusion.

Potassium per manganite is used to experiment with how molecules dissolve in a water solvent from a high to a low concentration. This experiment is done when potassium per manganite is poured into a beaker containing water. This results in the potassium molecules spreading in the beaker resulting in the change in colour of the water. Diffusion has the following functions; uptake of water from the soil to the roots in plants (Burini & Chouhad, 2019), during respiration, and in the digestive system where lipids are absorbed into the bloodstream by diffusion. Diffusion is critical to enable the survival of cells as it enables the intake of nutrients and substances and the output of harmful waste products.

References

Burini, D., & Chouhad, N. (2019). A multiscale view of nonlinear diffusion in biology: From cells to tissues. World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd.

Guzmán, A., Brown, F., & Acatitla, E. (n.d.). Innovative factors affecting the diffusion of the new nanotechnology paradigm, 1983–2013. Search eLibrary :: SSRN.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "The Movement of Molecules Through Cells: Role of Diffusion." November 1, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-movement-of-molecules-through-cells-role-of-diffusion/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'The Movement of Molecules Through Cells: Role of Diffusion'. 1 November.

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