It is an image that appears in practically every biology text to help students with conceptual understanding: a U-shaped tube with a permeable membrane separating a hypotonic and hypertonic solution. And yet most classroom methods of studying osmosis don’t take advantage of the simplicity and elegance of this design for actual lab work.
But the PASCO Diffusion/Osmosis apparatus has other distinct advantages. It actually allows students to explore the rate of water movement and quantify pressure changes occurring in the system. And it does it all accurately and in a fraction of the time of using a dialysis bag.
And because of the versatility of its design, the Diffusion/Osmosis Apparatus can be used with beginning biology students simply to show the movement of water due to osmosis or to illustrate the concept of semi-permeability while advanced students can measure the effects of varying the solute concentrations or changing the pressure of the two solutions.
This versatility also means the same setup can be used by chemistry teachers exploring relationships between volume and pressure or environmental science teachers wishing to illustrate water movement in soil and within a plant.