SAT Subject Biology Practice Question 108: Answer and Explanation
18. What would happen to a blood cell moved from an isotonic solution to a hypertonic solution?
A. The cell would swell.
B. The cell would shrivel up.
C. The cell would immediately lyse.
D. The cell membrane would be reinforced.
E. Nothing; the cell would be in equilibrium.
Correct Answer: B
A hypertonic solution has a higher osmotic pressure, meaning it has a higher concentration of dissolved solutes. A blood cell in this environment will lose water into the solution and shrivel because there is a pressure gradient across the cell membrane.