Agar Cubes (Diffusion)

In this lab, we put Agar Cubes in an OH solution to test diffusion.

Here is the data we found (ratios are flipped to V:SA on the table):

The cube that diffused best was the smallest (1cmx1cm) cube.

Our group found that the smaller the size of the cube, the easier and faster it was to diffuse. We agreed that this was because of the SA:V ratio. The higher the Surface Area compared to Volume, the more efficiently the cube (or cell) will diffuse.

Cells are smaller rather than larger because if they were larger, they would be less efficient in diffusion. Diffusion is important because it is a factor in the exportation of water, oxygen and nutrients between cells. Smaller cells also diffuse quicker.

If we are comparing 3 cubes with different SA:V ratios, for example cubes, A(3:1), B(5:2) and C(4:1), C would have the best diffusion efficiency. The SA:V ratio is higher and therefore allows for easier and quicker diffusion.

Our larger organs are made of smaller cells in order to provide maximum surface area coverage. This helps gases to be exchanged efficiently. There are high SA:V ratios wherever gases are exchanged in the human body.

Certain cells, such as bacteria, are unable to grow to the size of a small fish due to the fact that the SA:V ratio decreases as the size of the cell increases, as shown by our data. Once the cell gets too large, it will be unable to diffuse efficiently and therefore would affect its ability to provide water, oxygen and nutrients.

Some advantages of being multicellular includes the diversity of cells, which allows for different functions in the organism. Each type of cell has its own function. The different functions allow each organ in the body to preform their duties, such as, in the respiratory system or digestive system. This is what makes multicellular organs complex.

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