A cell is hypotonic to the solution around it. This means: (select one)
A) The cell and the surrounding solution have equal salt concentrations.
B) The cell has a lower salt concentration than the surrounding solution.
C) The cell has a higher salt concentration than the surrounding solution.
D) The cell is "leaking" salt to the surrounding solution.
Tonicity is a measure of osmotic pressure gradient that is present between two solutions which is separated by a semi-permeable membrane. In cellular level, the semi-permeable membrane is the cell membrane which allows selectively the movement of particles in an out of the cell. There are three types of tonicity that can happen in a system: Isotonicity, hypertonicity and hypotonicity.
When we say that a cell is hypotonic to the solution around it, it means that the concentration gradient is lesser outside the cell compared to the concentration inside the cell. The concentration of solute is greater inside the cells so in attempt to balance it, water will enter the cells making it bloated or swollen.
The answer is: C) The cell has a higher salt concentration than the surrounding solution.