6th December 2019

arizona
15

Why do cells shrink in a hypertonic solution?

A hypertonic solution has increased solute, and a net movement of water outside causing the cell to shrink. A hypotonic solution has decreased solute concentration, and a net movement of water inside the cell, causing swelling or breakage.

What are hypertonic solutions used for?

3% saline is typically used to treat severe cases of hyponatremia (low sodium). This makes sense because if your blood stream has become hypotonic and it's supposed to be isotonic, then adding a hypertonic solution will help increase the electrolyte imbalance back to normal levels.
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