Dictionary > Hypotonicity

Hypotonicity

Definition
noun
The state of being hypotonic, i.e. having lesser degree of tone or tension
Supplement
In biology, tonicity pertains to two definitions. The first one is associated with the osmotic pressure exerted upon a membrane and the other is about tone or tension (in a muscle or an organ). Relevant terms include isotonicity, hypertonicity, and hypotonicity.
In general, hypotonicity is a condition characterized by the presence of a lesser degree of tone or tension. In cellular level, hypotonicity may pertain to a property of a solution with a comparatively lower concentration of solutes relative to the amount of solutes in another solution. Also, a solution is described as hypotonic when the other solution being compared with has less osmotic pressure in a fluid compared to another fluid. Solutions that have different tonicities will result in a net flow of water across the cell membrane. For example, blood serum that is hypotonic to a physiologic salt solution would result in the net movement of water molecules towards the area with less water concentration (or higher solute concentration) (i.e. physiologic salt solution).
In the tissue level, hypotonicity in a muscle would imply a lesser degree of tone or tension as its length changes. This is in contrast to a hypertonic muscle that has a greater degree of tone or tension. A muscle whose tension remains relatively constant is described to be isotonic.
Word origin: hypo– (“under”) + Greek tonos (“tension”)
Compare:

See also:

  • tonicity
  • Related form(s):

    • hypotonic (adjective, of, pertaining to, or relating to, hypotonicity)


    You will also like...

    human brain structure
    The Conscious & Unconscious Nervous System

    This tutorial elaborates on how the nervous system works, particularly at the tissue level of the brain. There are three..

    Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand
    New Zealand’s Unique Geographical History

    Explore why New Zealand has such unique flora and fauna, and learn why long periods of geographical isolation. This less..

    Non-Mendelian Inheritance
    Non-Mendelian Inheritance

    In this tutorial, find out more about certain types of inheritance that does not follow the Mendelian inheritance patter..

    A chart depicting Mendel's Law of Dominance
    Mendel’s Law & Mendelian Genetics

    One of Mendel’s law of inheritance is the “law of dominance”. Read this tutorial to know more about this form of i..

    Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung
    Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung

    In this tutorial, the works of Carl Gustav Jung and Sigmund Freud are described. Both of them actively pursued the way h..

    Nephrolepis exaltata
    Vascular Plants: Ferns and Relatives

    Ferns and their relatives are vascular plants, meaning they have xylem and phloem tissues. Because of the presence of va..

    Related Articles...

    No related articles found

    See all Related Topics