Diffusion in Agar Cubes


  1. In terms of maximizing diffusion, what was the most effective size cube that you tested?

The most effective size cube for maximum diffusion was the small 1cm^3 cube. This was the most effective because, through our results, it diffused through all the way through the cube. It had 100% diffusion

  1. Why was that size most effective at maximizing diffusion? What are the important factors that affect how materials diffuse into cells or tissues?

There was a greater ratio between the surface area and the volume of the small cube.
When the surface area becomes larger, the volume also becomes larger causing a smaller diffusion ratio. We calculated to be 6:1 for our 1cm^3 block. This had 100% diffusion. This allowed more of the NaOH To be pulled into the Agar cube. The greater surface area in the membrane and lesser volume allows for more materials to be diffused through the membrane.

  1. If a large surface area is helpful to cells, why do cells not grow to be very large?

    When increasing the surface area of cells, you also increase the volume inside the cell. There is a lesser diffusion rate between bigger cells because the volume is too large for it all essential materials to be pulled into the cell. Though the smaller cube has less surface area, the volume is significantly smaller leading it to be able to have maximum diffusion. If a cell becomes too large it must divide into two cells.

  2. Surface area to volume ratios of cube A =3:1, B=5:2, C=4:1. which is going to be the most effective at maximizing diffusion, and how do you know?
    Most effective would be cube C because it has a higher surface area to volume ratio. This means it has a better opportunity to absorb the necessary materials. And have a higher probable diffusion percent.
  3. How does your body adapt surface area-to-volume ratios to help exchange gases?

    Humans are multicellular organisms. In our bodies, our cells have the ability to divide into two cells so the diffusion rate can increase. Larger cells can then divide into smaller cells with a higher surface to volume ratio allowing them to have the capacity for adequate gas exchange. If this ratio decreases, the rate of gas exchange also decreases.

  4. Why cant certain cells like bacteria get to be the size of small fish?

    bacteria is a unicellular organism meaning the entire organism is one cell. It is limited in its size because the cell needs to maximize diffusion efficiency by staying small. If the cell grows too large, it must divide, and since bacteria are unicellular, it cannot divide.
  5. What are the advantages of large organisms being multicellular?

In multicellular organisms like plants or animals, there are unique features; gas exchange systems and circulatory. The size is not important within the cells, because if they get too big, they have the ability to divide into efficient diffusers.

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