Hypertonic solution

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Hypertonic solution

Tonicity is a measure of the effective osmotic pressure gradient; the water potential of two solutions separated by a semipermeable cell membrane. In other words, tonicity is the relative concentration of solutes dissolved in solution which determine the direction and extent of diffusion.

It is commonly used when describing the response of cells immersed in an external solution. Unlike osmotic pressure, tonicity is influenced only by solutes that cannot cross the membrane, as only these exert an effective osmotic pressure. Solutes able to freely cross the membrane do not affect tonicity because they will always equilibrate with equal concentrations on both sides of the membrane without net solvent movement.

It is also a factor affecting imbibition. There are three classifications of tonicity that one solution can have relative to another: hypertonichypotonicand isotonic. A hypertonic solution has a greater concentration of solutes than another solution.

In biology, the tonicity of a solution usually refers to its solute concentration relative to that of another solution on the opposite side of a cell membrane ; a solution outside of a cell is called hypertonic if it has a greater concentration of solutes than the cytosol inside the cell.

When a cell is immersed in a hypertonic solution, osmotic pressure tends to force water to flow out of the cell in order to balance the concentrations of the solutes on either side of the cell membrane. The cytosol is conversely categorized as hypotonic, opposite of the outer solution. When plant cells are in a hypertonic solution, the flexible cell membrane pulls away from the rigid cell wallbut remains joined to the cell wall at points called plasmodesmata. The cells often take on the appearance of a pincushionand the plasmodesmata almost cease to function because they become constricted, a condition known as plasmolysis.

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In plant cells the terms isotonic, hypotonic and hypertonic cannot strictly be used accurately because the pressure exerted by the cell wall significantly affects the osmotic equilibrium point. Some organisms have evolved intricate methods of circumventing hypertonicity. For example, saltwater is hypertonic to the fish that live in it. Because the fish need a large surface area in their gills in contact with seawater for gas exchangethey lose water osmotically to the sea from gill cells.

They respond to the loss by drinking large amounts of saltwater, and actively excreting the excess salt. This process is called osmoregulation. A hypotonic solution has a lower concentration of solutes than another solution. In biology, a solution outside of a cell is called hypotonic if it has a lower concentration of solutes relative to the cytosol.

Due to osmotic pressurewater diffuses into the cell, and the cell often appears turgidor bloated. For cells without a cell wall such as animal cells, if the gradient is large enough, the uptake of excess water can produce enough pressure to induce cytolysisor rupturing of the cell.

When plant cells are in a hypotonic solution, the central vacuole takes on extra water and pushes the cell membrane against the cell wall. Due to the rigidity of the cell wall, it pushes back, preventing the cell from bursting. This is called turgor pressure.

A solution is isotonic when its effective osmole concentration is the same as that of another solution. In biology, the solutions on either side of a cell membrane are isotonic if the concentration of solutes outside the cell is equal to the concentration of solutes inside the cell.

In this case the cell neither swells nor shrinks because there is no concentration gradient to induce the diffusion of large amounts of water across the cell membrane.

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Water molecules freely diffuse through the plasma membrane in both directions, and as the rate of water diffusion is the same in each direction, the cell will neither gain nor lose water. An iso-osmolar solution can be hypotonic if the solute is able to penetrate the cell membrane.Most people are aware that salty foods have the property of inducing thirst.

Perhaps you've also noticed that very sweet foods tend to do the same thing. This is because salt as sodium and chloride ions and sugars as glucose molecules function as active osmoles when dissolved in body fluids, primarily the serum component of blood.

This means that, when dissolved in aqueous solution or the biological equivalent, they have the potential to influence the direction in which nearby water will move. A solution is simply water with one or more other substances dissolved in it. Tonicityin chemistry, refers to the tendency of a solution to pull in water compared to some other solution.

The solution under study may be hypotonicisotonic or hypertonic compared to the reference solution. Hypertonic solutions have considerable significance in the context of life on Earth. Before discussing the implications of relative and absolute concentrations of solutions, it is important to understand the ways in which these are quantified and expressed in analytical chemistry and biochemistry. Often, the concentration of solids dissolved in water or other fluids is expressed simply in units of mass divided by volume.

This use of mass divided by volume is similar to that used to calculate density, except that in density measurements, there is only one substance under study, e. In terms of concentration gradients that affect the movement of water or particles, however, it is important to know the total number of particles per unit volume, regardless of their size. It is this, not total solute mass, that influences this movement, counterintuitive though this may be.

For this, scientists most commonly use molarity Mwhich is the number of moles of a substance per unit volume usually a liter. This in turn is specified by the molar mass, or molecular weight, of a substance.

By convention, one mole of a substance contains 6. The molar mass of a substance is the sum of the atomic weights of its constituent atoms. For example, the formula for glucose is C 6 H 12 O 6 and the atomic masses of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen are 12, 1 and 16 respectively. Thus, to determine the molarity of mL of solution containing 90 g of glucose, you first determine the number of moles of glucose present:.

Particles that are free to move about in solution collide with each other at random, and over time, the directions of individual particles resulting from these collisions cancel each other out so that no net change in concentration results.

The solution is said to be in equilibrium under these conditions.

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On the other hand, if more solute is introduced into a localized portion of the solutions, the increased frequency of collisions that follows results in a net movement of particles from areas of higher concentration to areas of lower concentration. This is called diffusion and contributes to the ultimate achievement of equilibrium, other factors held constant.

The picture changes drastically when semi-permeable membranes are introduced to the mix. Cells are enclosed by just such membranes; "semi-permeable" means simply that some substances can pass through while others cannot.

In terms of cell membranes, small molecules such as water, oxygen and carbon dioxide gas can move into and out of the cell via simple diffusion, dodging the proteins and lipid molecules forming most of the membrane.

hypertonic solution

Osmosisthe flow of water across a membrane in response to differential solute concentrations on either side of the membrane, is one of the most important cellular physiology concepts to master. Around three-quarters of the human body consists of water, and similarly for other organisms.

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Fluid balance and shifts are vital for literal survival on a moment-to-moment basis. The tendency of osmosis to occur is called osmotic pressure, and solutes that result in osmotic pressure, which not all of them do, are called active osmoles. To understand why it happens, it is helpful to think of water itself as a "solute" that moves from one side of the semipermeable membrane to the other as a result of its own concentration gradient.

Where solute concentration is higher, "water concentration" is lower, meaning that water will flow in a high-concentration-to-low-concentration direction just like any other active osmole. Water simply moves to even out concentration distances.

In a nutshell, this is why you get thirsty when you eat a salty meal: Your brain responds to the increased sodium concentration in your body by asking you to put more water into the system — it signals thirst.

The phenomenon of osmosis compels the introduction of adjectives to describe the relative concentration of solutions. As touched on above, a substance that is less concentrated than a reference solution is called hypotonic "hypo'" is Greek for "under" or "deficiency".Hypertonic refers to a solution with higher osmotic pressure than another solution. In other words, a hypertonic solution is one in which there is a greater concentration or number of solute particles outside a membrane than there are inside it.

Red blood cells are the classic example used to explain tonicity. When the concentration of salts ions is the same inside the blood cell as outside of it, the solution is isotonic with respect to the cells, and they assume their normal shape and size.

If there are fewer solutes outside the cell than inside it, such as would happen if you placed red blood cells in fresh water, the solution water is hypotonic with respect to the interior of the red blood cells. The cells swell and may burst as water rushes into the cell to attempt to make the concentration of the interior and exterior solutions the same.

Incidentally, since hypotonic solutions can cause cells to burst, this is one reason why a person is more likely to drown in fresh water than in salt water. It's also a problem if you drink too much water. If there is a higher concentration of solutes outside of the cell than inside it, such as would happen if you placed red blood cells in a concentrated salt solution, then the salt solution is hypertonic with respect to the inside of the cells.

The red blood cells undergo crenationwhich means they shrink and shrivel as water leaves the cells until the concentration of solutes is the same both inside and outside the red blood cells. Manipulating the tonicity of a solution has practical applications. For example, reverse osmosis may be used to purify solutions and desalinate seawater. Hypertonic solutions help to preserve food. For example, packing food in salt or pickling it in a hypertonic solution of sugar or salt creates a hypertonic environment that either kills microbes or at least limits their ability to reproduce.

Hypertonic solutions also dehydrate food and other substances, as water leaves cells or passes through a membrane to try to establish equilibrium.

The terms "hypertonic" and "hypotonic" often confuse students because they neglect to account for the frame of reference. For example, if you place a cell in a salt solutionthe salt solution is more hypertonic more concentrated than the cell plasma. But, if you view the situation from the inside of the cell, you could consider the plasma to be hypotonic with respect to the saltwater.

Also, sometimes there are multiple types of solutes to consider. Each side of the partition is isotonic with respect to the other if you consider there are 4 moles of ions on each side.

However, the side with sodium ions is hypertonic with respect to that type of ions another side is hypotonic for sodium ions. The side with the potassium ions is hypertonic with respect to potassium and the sodium chloride solution is hypotonic with respect to potassium.

How do you think the ions will move across the membrane? What you would expect to happen is that sodium and potassium ions would cross the membrane until equilibrium is reached, with both sides of the partition containing 1 mole of sodium ions, 1 mole of potassium ions, and 2 moles of chlorine ions. Got it? Water moves across a semipermeable membrane.

Remember, water moves to equalize the concentration of solute particles. If the solutions on either side of the membrane are isotonic, water moves freely back and forth. Water moves from the hypotonic less concentrated side of a membrane to the hypertonic less concentrated side. The direction of the flow continues until the solutions are isotonic. Share Flipboard Email. Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph. Chemistry Expert. Helmenstine holds a Ph. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels.Learn something new every day More Info A hypertonic solution is one with a high concentration of solutes when compared to another solution which is separated from it by a semipermeable membrane.

What Is a Hypertonic Solution?

The property of tonicity is often used to illustrate the biology of the body, with the solute concentration of cells and surrounding fluids being used as an example. Tonicity is related to osmosisin which fluids flow back and forth across a semipermeable membrane; osmolarity differs from tonicity in that it considers the concentration of solutes that penetrate the membrane and those that do not, while tonicity only considers those that do not penetrate.

If a solution is hypertonic, it means that fluid will flow across the membrane and into the hypertonic solution until an isotonic state is reached. In an isotonic state, the solutions on either side of the membrane have the same distribution of solutes. Conversely, with a hypotonic solution, the concentration of solutes is lower than that of a solution on the other side of a membrane, which means that water will be drawn out of the hypotonic solution and into a hypertonic solution.

Only solutes which cannot pass through the membrane are considered when evaluating tonicity. Solutes small enough to move through the membrane will naturally distribute themselves as needed in an attempt to even the solution out.

In the classic example of hypertonicityif salts in body fluids rise too much, they cause cells to lose water, shriveling up. This can happen with dehydration, in which water lost by the body is not replaced, leading to an increase in salts.

Conversely, people who have consumed too much water too quickly can develop hypotonic body fluids, forcing water into the cells and potentially causing them to explode. The hypertonic solution has applications outside the body. Osmosis is used in tasks like water purification, preparation of scientific samples, and scientific research.

By manipulating the tonicity of a solution to make it a hypertonic solution, the flow of fluid across a membrane can be controlled, taking advantage of the fact that water moves from areas of low solute concentration to areas of high solute concentration in an attempt to even out the osmotic pressure.

Illustrations of tonicity are commonly given in basic science classes with the assistance of dyed fluids which can be clearly tracked as they move back and forth across a semipermeable membrane. Understanding tonicity is also important for tasks which may not immediately lead people to think of science.

Cooking, for example, can involve tonicity when fluids are absorbed or expressed. For example, many cooks use the trick of sprinkling eggplant slices with salt to force them to express water before cooking; they have essentially created a hypertonic environment which leads fluid to flow out of the eggplant in an attempt to equalize tonicity.

What happens to the body if too many cells shrivel up? Armas Post 3 Osmosis is the process of movement from a hypotonic solution to a hypertonic solution in order to balance the tonicity out.

This creates an equilibrium of solutions, without which life could not survive. Proxy Post 2 Cells placed in a hypertonic solution will shrivel up because of losing water. High tonicity causes water to gravitate toward itself in order to balance tonicity.

hypertonic solution

Low tonicity causes water to go elsewhere. The words "hyper-" and "hypo-," despite sounding similar, are opposites, coming from the Greek words for "super-" and "sub-," respectively.

Hyper is above and beyond normal, while hypo is below normal. The salt will draw water out of the cucumber and make it tastier for consumption.

In effect a chemical process is happening where hypertonic solution uses come handy in everyday life. Post your comments Post Anonymously Please enter the code:. One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted.

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Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK! Hypertonic solutions are used in water purification, preparation of samples and scientific research. View slideshow of images above. Watch the Did-You-Know slideshow. Follow wiseGEEK.Let me back up a second. Need a refresher on what solutes, solvents, and solutions are? What are THEY being compared to? In nursing, we almost always compare solutions to something in the human body!

Of all the IV solutions that nursing students have to study, Hypertonic IV solutions are probably the least used, and in my opinion can be the most confusing to understand. Arguably, they can also pose the highest risk of complications! Notice that three of the hypertonic solutions listed above contain Dextrose, which is a sugar. The purpose of adding sugar is to provide extra calories to the patient. The dextrose sugar is what makes these 3 solutions hypertonic: there is more solute per liter in the IV solution than there is in the blood.

hypertonic solution

This is because there are now fewer solutes sodium in the solvent blood. In order to get blood back to its normal isotonic state, we would want to add MORE solutes without adding much solvent. This strategy can help move blood levels back to their isotonic normal, thus correcting the hyponatremia. Hypertonic solutions are also useful to patients with fluid overload when they need electrolytes.

This includes conditions such as Heart Failure or severe edema. Even though hypertonic solutions can be useful, they require caution. Watch the patient closely for any evidence of intravascular overload aka too much fluid in the blood vessels. Intravascular overload can happen when too much water moves into the blood vessels.

This excess water can come from the interstitial space, or even from the blood cells! Remember that osmosis is the movement of water as it attempts to create equal dilution levels wherever it goes. This extra fluid being pulled into the blood vessels can lead to increased blood pressure and pulmonary edema aka fluid in the lungs.

Ironically, it can even lead to hyper natremia from too much sodium being added! When you immerse the egg in a hypertonic solution, the water that was inside the egg is pulled out in an attempt to equalize the hypertonic solution around it. Unlike this egg experiment, the human body has more than one semi-permeable membrane to help regulate how fluid moves throughout the body. One of these many membranes surrounds each RBC.

These dehydrated RBCs are at risk of dying unless the water balance is quickly reversed. In addition to the RBC membrane, nurses also need to consider the semi-permeable membrane of the blood vessel wall. When you inject hypertonic solution into the blood vessels, you risk pulling water not only the RBCs, but also from the interstitial space!

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All of this additional water moving by osmosis into the blood vessels can quickly cause high blood pressure and all the complications that come with it if not done carefully.

Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.When talking about IV solutions, most people would be tempted to jump right into Isotonic, because those are the most commonly used. Let me back up a second. Do you understand what Hypertonic solutions are?

Hypertonic Solution Examples

Why do I think hypertonic fluids are so cool? The permeable membranes aka eggs that were in the Isotonic and Hypotonic solutions only had a very minor size difference…but the egg placed in the hypertonic solution shows a drastic change! The water has been sucked out into the hypertonic solution via osmosis, causing a very serious case of egg-dehydration.

Applying this concept to nursing can be a little bit confusing at first. Let me break it down a little bit for you.

hypertonic solution

The human body is much more complex, and has many different parts that interact and influence each other. The body also has more than one semi-permeable membrane to help regulate where fluid in the body is supposed to be. Another semi-permeable membrane you need to consider as a nurse is the blood vessel walls. When you inject hypertonic solution into the blood vessels, not only do you risk draining RBCs, but that hypertonic solution is also going to attract water from outside of the blood vessels!

All of this additional water moving by osmosis into the blood vessels can quickly cause high blood pressure and all the complications that come with it if not done carefully. Notice that three of the solutions contain Dextrose, which is a sugar. The dextrose is included as a way of providing extra calories to the patient. In fact, even though these dextrose solutions are hypertonic, once the dextrose is absorbed by the body then only pure water or saline is left in the blood vessels.

These three solutions are primarily used for the purpose of providing the patient with extra calories. Even so, though, you need to infuse the IV solution very slowly and cautiously, and watch the patient closely for any evidence of intravascular overload aka too much fluid in the blood vessels. This could be increased blood pressure, pulmonary edema aka fluid in the lungsor even hyper natremia.

Hypertonic solutions can also be useful for a patient who needs electrolytes but is already on fluid overload, such as in Heart Failure or severe edema.

I hope this gives you a better understanding of hypertonic IV solutions! Now please leave a comment below telling me how cool you think my shrunken egg is. What other fluids could treat hyponatremia?

That will make the problem worse if the patient already has hyponatremia. D5LR would work bc after the dextrose is used up, then there is Lactated Ringers solution left, which is isotonic. The isotonic solution would add some fluid, but also electrolytes to help correct the hyponatremia. Hi, Thanks so much for your great explanation. One question still remains for me. This is Ragi again. Hypertonic solutions with administration of Lasix and careful monitoring of Potassium would be a better choice?

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Giving hypertonic fluids would not necessarily lead to immediate osmosis from the interstitial or intracellular spaces if the patient was already low on electrolytes to begin with, it would first bring their electrolytes up to normal range.

Keep in mind that this is an extremely complex situation, and often these patients have multiple health concerns. This is not generally something you would run into during nursing school. With hyponatremia caused by a excess of water, commonly it is treated with fluid restriction. This article was extremely remarkable, especially since I was looking for thoughts on this issue last Wednesday.

I want to commend you for a great job done. I understand you explanations but I want to ask about the electrolytes…for the example you gave about hyponatremia.

Yes, the hypertonic solution contains a higher concentration of sodium ions than the blood. So when you give a hypertonic solution to someone who has hyponatremia, you are essentially mixing a liquid with high concentration of Na the hypertonic solution with a liquid having a low concentration of Na the hyponatremic blood.This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience.

Learn more Got it! A hypertonic solution is a particular type of solution that has a greater concentration of solutes on the outside of a cell when compared with the inside of a cell.

Saline solution, or a solution that contains salts, is hypertonic. This type of hypertonic solution is extremely common. For instance, saline solutions are often used in the medical field, as well as in contact lens fluid, to help keep contact lenses clean and free from dust and pollutants. Both of these hypertonic solutions are administered in IV drips in hospitals to nourish the body of a sick and injured person who cannot consume food or liquids themselves, or to individuals who happen to be dehydrated.

This is true of all hypertonic solutions.

Understanding Hypotonic, Hypertonic, and Isotonic Solutions

A hypertonic sodium chloride solution is a solution that has a higher combination of both sodium and chloride than the amounts of sodium and chloride typically contained in the blood plasma of the individual to which the solution is administered.

Corn syrup is a hypertonic solution in relation to the cells within a living organism, because the corn syrup solution contains more solutes inside of it than the body cells. Glucose is the sugar present in an individual's blood. This is often used as an IV fluid. Any solution that allows fluid to flow across a membrane into it is considered a hypertonic solution, since hypertonic refers to any solution with higher concentrations of solutes without than within.

When bodily fluids contain too much solutes such as salt, hence becoming hypertonic solutions, the body becomes dehydrated and must be rehydrated, or else a person will become sick. Body systems can become hypertonic due to the lack of water consumption.

Kidneys and livers, for instance, can become hypertonic and lead to the failure of these organs. Each of these are examples of hypertonic solutions. Now you have many different examples of somewhat common hypertonic solutions and you can see how often you interact with these solutions.

Home Examples Hypertonic Solution Examples. Common Hypertonic Solutions Here are a few examples: Saline solution, or a solution that contains salts, is hypertonic.

Hypertonic Solution Examples. Related Articles. Post a comment.


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