Surface to Volume

The surface of a cell, its membrane, is the site of exchange between its interior and its external environment. This surface must allow sufficient exchange to support the contents of the cell. As an object increases in size its volume increases as the cube of its linear dimensions while surface area increases as the square. As these cubes illustrate the surface area to volume ratio of a small object is larger than that of a large object of similar shape. This ratio limits how large cells can be.


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