Osmosis: Choose the right solution for an intravenous drip (NEW)
Try our lab safety simulation
About Osmosis: Choose the right solution for an intravenous drip (NEW) Virtual Lab Simulation
Choosing an IV fluid
You will meet Frank in the hospital. He is dehydrated because of sunstroke and needs extra fluids. There are three solutions available, but which one is the correct one to avoid damaging Frank’s blood cells?
Finding the isotonic point
Join Dr. One in the lab to understand exactly how water is transported across the cell membrane in osmosis. An animation will show you how the solute concentration of a solution can be equalized through diffusion and osmosis. You will see how solutes can move through the solution via diffusion and how water is transported across a semipermeable membrane in osmosis. You will then place potato cubes in a serial dilution of saline to see how water moves either into or out of the cells depending on the salt concentration.
Once you have plotted your results, you will be able to identify the isotonic point where the salt concentration of the solution is exactly the same as the salt concentration inside the cells. You will also see in which direction the water moves in both a hypotonic and a hypertonic solution. Finally, you can see the effect of hypotonic and hypertonic solutions on cells by adding these solutions to a blood sample and observing the red blood cells under the microscope.
Back to the hospital
After your experiments, you fully understand the three saline solutions that were available to Frank and the effect that the salt concentration will have on the cells in his blood. Review your hypothesis and advise Frank and his doctors on the correct IV solution.
Get Started Now
Techniques in Lab
- Determine isotonic point
- Understand how solute concentration drives the movement of molecules across a semipermeable membrane
- Distinguish between osmosis and diffusion
- Define the terms osmosis and hypotonic, hypertonic and isotonic solutions
- Compare and contrast osmosis in hypotonic and hypertonic solutions
Examples of Related Standards
1.3 Membrane structure
11.3 The kidney and osmoregulation
Screenshots of Osmosis: Choose the right solution for an intravenous drip (NEW) Virtual Lab Simulation
Dr. Carley BentonInternational School Hilversum
How it works
A million dollar lab in your browser
Perform experiments in virtual lab simulations to achieve core science learning outcomes.
All our simulations run on laptop and desktop computers, and you can play our simulations without having to install any browser plugins.
Hundreds of hours of science learning content
Our virtual laboratory simulations are aimed at university, college and high school level, within fields such as biology, biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology, chemistry, physics and more.
With access to our simulations, you will have hundreds of hours of engaging, high-quality learning content available to you.