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Osmosis is the spontaneous net movement of solvent molecules through a partially permeable membrane

into a region of higher solute concentration, in the direction that tends to equalize the solute
concentrations on the two sides.[1][2][3] It may also be used to describe a physical process in which any
solvent moves across a semipermeable membrane (permeable to the solvent, but not the solute)
separating two solutions of different concentrations.[4][5] Osmosis can be made to do work.[6]

One frame of a computer simulation of osmosis
The osmotic pressure is defined to be the minimum pressure required to maintain an equilibrium, with
no net movement of solvent. Osmotic pressure is a colligative property, meaning that the osmotic
pressure depends on the molar concentration of the solute but not on its identity.
Osmosis is a vital process in biological systems, as biological membranes are semipermeable. In general,
these membranes are impermeable to large and polar molecules, such as ions, proteins,
and polysaccharides, while being permeable to non-polar and/or hydrophobic molecules like lipids as
well as to small molecules like oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and nitric oxide. Permeability depends
on solubility, charge, or chemistry, as well as solute size. Water molecules travel through the plasma
membrane, tonoplast membrane (vacuole) or protoplast by diffusing across the phospholipid bilayer
via aquaporins (small transmembrane proteins similar to those responsible for facilitated diffusion and
ion channels). Osmosis provides the primary means by which water is transported into and out of cells.
The turgor pressure of a cell is largely maintained by osmosis across the cell membrane between the cell
interior and its relatively hypotonic environment.
Jean-Antoine Nollet first documented observation of osmosis in 1748.[7] The word "osmosis" descends
from the words "endosmose" and "exosmose", which were coined by French physician Ren Joachim
Henri Dutrochet (17761847) from the Greek words (endon : within), (exo : outside), and
(osmos : push, impulsion).[8]

Semipermeable means
Partially permeable
Allowing passage of certain, especially small molecules or ions but acting as a barrier to others. Used of
biological and synthetic membranes.

Active transport is the movement of molecules across a cell membrane in the direction against their
concentration gradient, i.e. moving from a low concentration to a high concentration. Active transport is
usually associated with accumulating high concentrations of molecules that the cell needs, such
as ions, glucose and amino acids. If the process uses chemical energy, such as from adenosine
triphosphate (ATP), it is termed primary active transport. Secondary active transport involves the use of
an electrochemical gradient. Active transport uses cellular energy, unlike passive transport, which does
not use cellular energy. Active transport is a good example of a process for which cells require energy.
Examples of active transport include the uptake of glucose in the intestines in humans and the uptake of
mineral ions into root hair cells of plants. [1]

Passive transport is a movement of biochemicals and other atomic or molecular substances across cell
membranes. Unlike active transport, it does not require an input of chemical energy, being driven by the
growth ofentropy of the system. The rate of passive transport depends on the permeability of the cell
membrane, which, in turn, depends on the organization and characteristics of the
membrane lipids and proteins. The four main kinds of passive transport are diffusion, facilitated
diffusion, filtration and osmosis.

Diffusion is the net movement of a substance (e.g., an atom, ion or molecule) from a region of
high concentration to a region of low concentration. This is also referred to as the movement of a
substance down a concentration gradient. A gradient is the change in the value of a quantity (e.g.,
concentration, pressure, temperature) with the change in another variable (e.g., distance). For example, a
change in concentration over a distance is called a concentration gradient, a change in pressure over a
distance is called a pressure gradient, and a change in temperature over a distance is a called
a temperature gradient.
The word diffusion is derived from the Latin word, "diffundere", which means "to spread out" (if a
substance is spreading out, it is moving from an area of high concentration to an area of low
concentration). A distinguishing feature of diffusion is that it results in mixing or mass transport, without
requiring bulk motion (bulk flow). Thus, diffusion should not be confused with convection, or advection,
which are other transport phenomena that utilize bulk motion to move particles from one place to

Exocytosis (/ksosatoss/; from Greek "out" and English cyto- "cell" from Gk. "receptacle")
is the durable, energy-consuming process by which a cell directs the contents of secretory vesicles out of
the cell membrane and into the extracellular space. These membrane-bound vesicles contain
soluble proteins to be secreted to the extracellular environment, as well as membrane
proteins and lipids that are sent to become components of the cell membrane. However, the mechanism
of the secretion of intravesicular contents out of the cell is very different from the incorporation in the
cell membrane of ion channels, signaling molecules, or receptors. While for membrane recycling and the
incorporation in the cell membrane of ion channels, signaling molecules, or receptors complete
membrane merger is required, for cell secretion there is transient vesicle fusion with the porosome at
the cell membrane in a process called exocytosis, dumping its contents out of the cell's environment.
Examination of cells following secretion using electron microscopy, demonstrate increased presence of
partially empty vesicles following secretion. This suggested that during the secretory process, only a
portion of the vesicular content is able to exit the cell. This could only be possible if the vesicle were to
temporarily establish continuity with the cell plasma membrane, expel a portion of its contents, then
detach, reseal, and withdraw into the cytosol (endocytose). In this way, the secretory vesicle could be
reused for subsequent rounds of exo-endocytosis, until completely empty of its contents.[1]

Endocytosis is an energy-using process by which cells absorb molecules (such as proteins) by engulfing
them. It is used by all cells of the body because most substances important to them are
large polar molecules that cannot pass through the hydrophobic plasma or cell membrane. The opposite
process is exocytosis. [1]

In cellular biology, pinocytosis is a mode of endocytosis in which small particles are brought into the cell,
forming an invagination, and then suspended within small vesicles. These pinocytotic vesicles
subsequently fuse with lysosomes to hydrolyze (break down) the particles. This process requires a lot of
energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the chemical compound mostly used as energy in the
majority of cells.
Pinocytosis is used primarily for the absorption of extracellular fluids (ECF). In contrast to phagocytosis,
it generates very small amounts of ATP from the wastes of alternative substances such as lipids (fat).
Unlike receptor-mediated endocytosis, pinocytosis is nonspecific in the substances that it transports. The
cell takes in surrounding fluids, including all solutes present. Pinocytosis also works as phagocytosis; the
only difference is that phagocytosis is specific in the substances it transports. Phagocytosis engulfs whole
particles, which are later broken down by enzymes, such as cathepsins, and absorbed into the cells.
Pinocytosis, on the other hand, is when the cell engulfs already-dissolved or broken-down food.
Pinocytosis is non-specific and non-absorptive. Molecule-specific endocytosis is called receptor-mediated
Pinocytosis is otherwise known as cell-drinking, fluid endocytosis, and bulk-phase pinocytosis.

In cell biology, phagocytosis (from Ancient Greek (phagein) , meaning "to devour", , (kytos) ,
meaning "cell", and -osis, meaning "process") is the process by which a celloften a phagocyte or
a protistengulfs a solid particle to form an internal vesicle known as a phagosome. Phagocytosis was
revealed by lie Metchnikoff in 1882.
Phagocytosis is a specific form of endocytosis involving the vesicular internalization of solids such
as bacteria, and is therefore distinct from other forms of endocytosis such as the vesicular internalization
of various liquids (pinocytosis). Phagocytosis is involved in the acquisition of nutrients for some cells.
The process is homologous to eating at the level of single-celled organisms; in multicellular animals, the
process has been adapted to eliminate debris and pathogens, as opposed to taking in fuel for cellular
processes, except in the case of the animal Trichoplax.
In the immune system, phagocytosis is a major mechanism used to remove pathogens and cell debris. For
example, when a macrophage ingests a pathogenic microorganism, the pathogen becomes trapped in a
phagosome which then fuses with a lysosome to form a phagolysosome. Within the phagolysosome,
enzymes and toxic peroxides digest the pathogen. Bacteria, dead tissue cells, and small mineral particles
are all examples of objects that may be phagocytized.