A folded surface has more surface area than aflat surface.

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Imagine an accordion, whichlooks small when it’s bunched up, but actually canbe stretched out due to its folds. So,how doesthis relate to the mitochondria?

Inside the mitochondria, chemical reactions occurwhich produce energy for the cell. One of thesereactions happens at the folded surface of theinner membrane. Before the reaction can occur,charge is transported across this membrane,similar to charging a battery. This charge thenallows the energy-producing reaction to happen.Since the reaction happens at the membranesurface, a folded membrane with increasedsurface area can produce more energy for the cell.

Answer 2:

They increase the surface area of the innermembrane, allowing there to be more proteins andmore exchange of ions across the membrane,allowing the mitochondrion to do its job morequickly.

Answer 3:

The function of the folds within themitochondria is to increase the surface area ofthe mitochondrial membrane. Basically, thephysical form of a structure can increase ordecrease its surface area to volume ratio. Forinstance, a sphere has the minimum surface area tovolume ratio, whereas a pyramid has a largersurface area to volume ratio. For example, if youhad a fixed volume of clay and made it into a sphere or a pyramid, the pyramid would have alarger surface area.

The same concept applies to mitochondria thatby having a highly folded structure, they increasethe surface area of their membrane.

The reason mitochondrial membranes need a highsurface area is because the process of usingoxygen to make energy is carried out on thismembrane. The larger the surface area of thismembrane, the more room for the membrane-boundcellular machinery that uses oxygen to makeenergy. Therefore, for a cell to make energyat a high rate, the folds are necessary.

Answer 4:

The function of the folds in mitochondria isto increase the surface area. This innerfolded part of the mitochondria (the innermembrane) is responsible for cell respiration (theprocess of breaking down carbohydrates (sugars) tomake energy). Part of cell respiration happens bytransferring molecules across the inner membrane,so by adding folds, a longer piece of membranecan be stuffed inside the mitochondria.

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Thisincreases the amount of molecules that can betransferred across it.Increasing surface area can be seen in many otherparts of the body too. For example, absorption ofnutrients in our digestive system happens in thesmall intestine. Nutrients have to be moved acrossthe wall of the small intestine to be absorbed. Weincrease absorption by making the intestine reallylong, but on the inside it is also very folded (instructures called "villi") which increasesthe surface area so more absorption can occur.

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