How Surface Area to
Volume Ratio Limits Cell Size
A cell is a metabolic
compartment where a multitude of chemical reactions occur.
- The number of reactions
increase as the volume of metabolic volume within a cell
increases. (The larger the volume the larger the number of
- 3.All raw materials
necessary for metabolism can enter the cell only through its
- The greater the surface
area the larger the amount of raw materials that can enter at
only one time.
- Each unit of volume
requires a specific amount of surface area to supply its
metabolism with raw materials. The amount of surface area
available to each unit of volume varies with the size of a cell.
- As a cell grows its SA/V
At some point in its growth its
SA/V becomes so small that its surface area is too small
to supply its raw materials to its volume. At this point the
cell cannot get larger.