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Linear Diffusion and Cell Signaling

Diffusion Diagram WIkipedia:
Education Level
High School

In this activity, students explore the concept of diffusion as a component of cell communication.  Specifically, students will explore how the rate of diffusion varies with distance and concentration gradient. They will use a pipet with water and dye to observe a macro-model of diffusion. Additionally in the optional extension, students may explore how diffusion is affected by other factors such as medium type, temperature, molecular weight, shape of container (non-linear diffusion) or any other variable.

Purpose.  This lab is designed to help students understand:

  • Difficulties involved in measuring objects, especially irregular or small objects.
  • How to define or describe diffusion.
  • Qualitative descriptions of concentration and dilution.
  • Methods of cell communication.
  • Construct an investigative lab (optional)
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