When solute concentrations differ (left), water flows through a membrane toward the solution with the higher concentration of solute. The resulting osmotic pressure causes the difference in water levels shown at right.|
|Video: Hypotonic vs. hypertonic:|
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Effect of osmotic pressure on blood cells:
|Try this experiment: (1) Remove the hard outer shell of two raw chicken eggs by placing them in vinegar for three days (this process leaves the egg enclosed in only the flexible semi-permeable membrane ordinarily concealed within the shell); (2) place one egg in pure water (hypotonic solution), place the other in heavy syrup (hypertonic); wait a few hours and see what happens. Which egg gets smaller? Which gets bigger?|
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