mohsinali979
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How does having a large surface area to volume ratio help to exchange substances (diffusion)
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Chloee01
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Hi!

So I'm assuming you understand what is meant by surface area to volume ratio? (if not let me know and ill explain!)

It just means that there is a greater surface that the substance can diffuse across, and so that means more of the substance can diffuse per unit time, hence increasing substance exchange.

Say you have a surface that a substance can exchange across, if that surface is 2cm^2 (for example) then you can only exchange across that area, but if you increase that surface area, then you can exchange across a greater surface, so if this was sugar going across, instead of 1g/sec (just arbitrary number) then you might have 15g/sec which is 15x as quick! These numbers aren't exact they're just a demonstration.

Does that make any sense? I apologise!
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RudelyHonest
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I guess you could think of the skin (representing surface area) as a mesh, and the muscles/tissues (representing the volume) as layers of cotton underneath the mesh. If you were to pour water through the mesh when there are three layers of cotton underneath it (low surface area to volume ratio), it will take longer to reach the deepest layer, if it even reaches it at all. However, say if you could spread the three layers out into one (same volume) but increase the amount of mesh (increase surface area), and pour water through the mesh, the cotton will soak water in more effectively.

I do not know if that helped or made it even more confusing, but I hope it helped somewhat.
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mohsinali979
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Yes! Thanks...👍
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mohsinali979
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Yes, that did help, cheers
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