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Modelling Surface Area to Volume Ratio in Cells with Agar Cubes
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MODELLING SURFACE AREA TO VOLUME RATIO IN CELLS
To investigate the effect of increasing the SA:V ratio on the percentage of penetration of HCL, when cubes of bromothymol blue agar are placed in the HCL. (Concentration of the HCL --> 0.1 M)
A cell needs a large surface area in order to carry out metabolic functions (as chemical reactions require a surface). As a cell grows, it needs to carry out more and more reactions. Therefore, since a cell has to maintain a certain surface area to volume ratio, its size is limited. (http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/IB_Biology/Cells)
The surface area to volume ratio in living organisms is very important. Nutrients and oxygen need to diffuse through the cell membrane and into the cells. Most cells are no longer than 1mm in diameter because small cells enable nutrients and oxygen to diffuse into the cell quickly and allow waste to diffuse out of the cell quickly. If the cells were any bigger than this then it would take too long for the nutrients and oxygen to diffuse into the cell so the cell would probably not survive.
Single celled organisms can survive as
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