Endosmosis vs Exosmosis: Difference and Comparison

There are different processes performed by the cell. They are metabolism, diffusion, respiration, active transport, and osmosis.

All of these processes are very important for the proper function of them, in metabolism chemical reaction takes place to maintain life, in diffusion, molecules move in and out of the cells, in respiration is the process in which combining of oxygen with the foodstuff molecules, in active transport with the help of cellular energy molecules moves around the cell membrane, in osmosis water moves across the membrane.

Further, these processes are divided into different categories.

An example of such a process can be Endosmosis, and Exosmosis is an example of osmosis. Following is important information related to these processes.

Key Takeaways

  1. Endosmosis is the movement of water molecules into a cell or compartment, while exosmosis is the movement of water molecules from a cell or compartment.
  2. Endosmosis results in increased pressure within the cell or compartment, while exosmosis decreases pressure.
  3. Both endosmosis and exosmosis occur through a selectively permeable membrane due to differences in solute concentrations.

Endosmosis vs Exosmosis

The difference between endosmosis and Exosmosis is that both of them involve different water movements along with other factors being opposite.

Water moves into the cell in case of endosmosis and moves out of the cell in case of Exosmosis.

They are placed in different solutions in order to make sure these processes occur, and in the case of endosmosis, the solution is hypotonic and in the case of Exosmosis, the solution is the hypertonic solution.

There are different results in cells when the process occurs. The cell may swell or turgid or, in some cases, burst out in case of endosmosis, whereas the cells might shrink along with the cytoplasm in case of Exosmosis.

Except these, they can be differentiated based on the water potential in comparison to the cytosol, solvent and solute concentration, etc.

Endosmosis vs

Endosmosis is the osmosis process that occurs when the cell is placed in the hypotonic solution, and the water moves inside the cell. The water potential is higher than the potential of cytosol.

The cell during this process tends to swell or burst out (in the case of animals mostly) as a result. This process occurs when the surroundings’ solute concentration is less than that of the inside the cell.

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Exosmosis is the osmosis process that occurs when the cell is placed in the hypertonic solution, and the water moves outside the cell. The water potential is lower than the potential of cytosol.

The cell and cytoplasm during this process tend to shrink as a result. This process occurs when the surroundings’ solute concentration is higher than that of the outside cell.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonEndosmosisExosmosis
Water MovementInto cellOut of the cell
Type of solutionPlaced in hypotonic solutionsPlaced in hypertonic solutions
Water Potential (than cytosol)HigherLower
Result in CellsSwellShrink
Human SignificanceWater intoxicantsDehydration

What is Endosmosis?

This is the movement of water or any solvent solution across a semipermeable membrane. It is a passive process. The inside of it is hypertonic (and outside hypotonic) that has a higher solute concentration than its outside surroundings.

It increases the turgor pressure of a cell. As more water enters the cell, it causes it to swell and sometimes even burst out. And this mostly occurs in the case of animal cells than of plant cells due to the presence of a cell wall. 

This process is also important for humans, as it is required to keep us alive. But in the case when endosmosis is high in humans, it may cause to destroy the cells and sometimes result in the death of the individual.

Therefore, a person with overhydration tends to end up with water intoxicants quickly as compared to any other individual. 

This process also occurs in animals, such as freshwater fish, where the solution might be hypertonic.

What is Exosmosis?

It is the movement of water or solvent which moves out of the cell. Exo means outside, which clearly defines the process. It takes place when the osmosis process is relatively higher.

It only takes place when the cell is placed in hypertonic. As a result of this process, the cell tends to shrink rather than get swell, as in the case of endosmosis due to moving out of the water. 

This process is not limited to plants; it can also occur in humans and animals.

In animals, it takes place in saltwater fish, where they experience changes in ion concentration, and in a human, it takes place when dehydration or water is lost from the body of the individual.

If the Exosmosis take place in high quantity in human, it may lead to serious problems in the individual as the proper quantity of water is required in the human body.

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Main Differences Between Endosmosis and Exosmosis

  1. The main difference between Endosmosis and Exosmosis is the water movement in endosmosis, water movement is inside the cell, whereas in Exosmosis, the water movement is opposite of it as it moves outside the cell.
  2. This process occurs when cells are placed in different solutions. Cells need to be placed in the hypotonic solution for the endosmosis process to carry out, and cell has to be placed in the hypertonic solution for the Exosmosis process to occur.
  3. The concentration of the solute also plays an important role in these processes. The solute concentration inside the cell needs to be more than the solute concentration outside the surroundings for occurrence of endosmosis, while solute concentration inside cell needs to be less than the solute concentration outside surroundings for occurrence of Exosmosis.
  4. There is also a different change in the result of the cell in these processes. As a result of endosmosis, cells may swell, whereas the result is the opposite in the case of Exosmosis, as the cell may shrink as a result of it.
  5. Cytosol’s water potential is less than the water potential of the surroundings in the case of the endosmosis process, whereas the cytosol’s water potential is higher than the water potential of the surroundings in the case of the Exosmosis.
  6. There are many examples of them, in the case of endosmosis, soil into hair cells, freshwater fish, water intoxicants are plants, animals, human significance examples respectively and in the case of Exosmosis root hair cell into root cortex, saltwater fish, dehydration are examples of plants, animals, human significance respectively.
  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01871669
  2. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/BF01252056.pdf
  3. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4614-7516-3_2
  4. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01940930
  5. https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/abs/10.1098/rspl.1868.0074

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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12 thoughts on “Endosmosis vs Exosmosis: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The detailed explanation of endosmosis and exosmosis offers a rich understanding of these cellular processes. Appreciate the in-depth insights.

  2. The article effectively communicates the complexities of endosmosis and exosmosis while highlighting their importance in cellular functions. Well done!

  3. The explanations of endosmosis and exosmosis are thorough and well-presented. It’s helpful to understand the differences and their implications.

  4. The comparison table provided is an effective way to differentiate between endosmosis and exosmosis. It offers a clear overview of their distinctions.

  5. Very informative article explaining the crucial processes performed by the cell. I appreciate the detailed information on endosmosis and exosmosis, along with the key differences between the two.

    • Absolutely, Lindsay! The article provides a comprehensive overview of these processes and their significance in cellular functioning.

  6. I commend the article for its clear and concise delineation of the critical differences between endosmosis and exosmosis. Valuable information!

    • Absolutely, Gordon. The article elucidates these processes in a manner that’s easily comprehensible and highly informative.

  7. This article provides comprehensive knowledge of endosmosis and exosmosis, shedding light on their significance and distinctions.


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