Cell Membrane Vocabulary

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Diffusion
the movement of particles from areas of high concentration (crowded) to areas of low concentration (not crowded).
Osmosis
The diffusion of water across a membrane.
Hypertonic
An area that has a higher solute concentration than another location.
Hypotonic
An area that has a lower solute concentration than another location.
Isotonic
An area that has an equal solute concentration compared to another location.
Semipermeable
Allows only certain materials to enter (or cross if it's a cell membrane).
Impermeable
Allows no materials to enter (or cross if it's a cell membrane)
Selectively Permeable
Allows only certain materials to enter (or cross if it's a cell membrane). Synonym for semipermeable.
Water Potential
The tendency of water to move locations; water moves from areas of high concentration to areas of low concentration.
Active Transport
Movement across a membrane that requires energy; can move molecules across the concentration gradient (low to high) or help move molecules in huge quantities.
Passive Transport
Energy free transport across a membrane; includes diffusion and facilitated diffusion.
Faciliated Diffusion
Movement across a membrane that requires the help of integral proteins; does not require energy because it follows the concentration gradient (high to low).
Concentration Gradient
The movement of molecules following the "normal flow"; movement of molecules from high concentration to low concentration.
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