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Colloid vs. Crystalloid: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on January 21, 2024
Colloid is a mixture where small particles are suspended in a medium without dissolving. Crystalloid is a solution where the solute completely dissolves, forming a clear solution.

Key Differences

Colloids are heterogeneous mixtures where particles are dispersed but not dissolved. Crystalloids are homogeneous solutions with solutes that dissolve completely.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 21, 2024
In colloids, the suspended particles do not settle out over time. In crystalloids, the dissolved substances remain evenly distributed.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 21, 2024
Colloids can scatter light, known as the Tyndall effect, while crystalloids are usually transparent.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 21, 2024
The particles in colloids are larger than those in crystalloids but too small to be seen individually.
Janet White
Jan 21, 2024
Colloids are often viscous, whereas crystalloids resemble the viscosity of water.
Harlon Moss
Jan 21, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Particle Size

Larger, suspended particles
Smaller, dissolved particles
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Jan 21, 2024

Homogeneity

Heterogeneous
Homogeneous
Sumera Saeed
Jan 21, 2024

Visibility

Particles not visible, scatters light
Transparent, no visible particles
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Jan 21, 2024

Settling of Particles

Particles do not settle
Particles cannot settle
Janet White
Jan 21, 2024

Example

Milk (colloid)
Saline solution (crystalloid)
Janet White
Jan 21, 2024
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Colloid and Crystalloid Definitions

Colloid

Colloids are stable mixtures where particles do not settle.
Jelly is a colloid with fruit particles suspended.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

Crystalloid

Crystalloids can pass through a semipermeable membrane.
IV fluids are crystalloids that easily enter blood cells.
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Dec 18, 2023

Colloid

Colloids have particles that are intermediate in size.
Fog is a colloid of water droplets in air.
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Dec 18, 2023

Crystalloid

In crystalloids, solutes are ions or small molecules.
Electrolyte drinks are crystalloids restoring body fluids.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 18, 2023

Colloid

A colloid is a mixture with particles dispersed throughout a medium.
Mayonnaise is a colloid of oil in vinegar.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

Crystalloid

Crystalloids form clear, homogeneous mixtures.
Sugar dissolves in water to form a crystalloid solution.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Colloid

Colloids display the Tyndall effect when light passes through.
The beam of headlights in fog shows the Tyndall effect.
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Dec 18, 2023

Crystalloid

Crystalloids are often used for hydration or electrolyte balance.
Doctors administer crystalloid solutions for dehydration.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

Colloid

Colloids often have a distinct phase of dispersed particles.
Whipped cream is a colloid with air bubbles dispersed in cream.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

Crystalloid

A crystalloid is a solution where solutes dissolve completely.
A saline solution is a common crystalloid used in medicine.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Colloid

A system in which finely divided particles, which are approximately 1 to 1,000 millimicrons in size, are dispersed within a continuous medium in a manner that prevents them from being filtered easily or settled rapidly.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2023

Crystalloid

(Chemistry) A substance that can be crystallized.
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Dec 17, 2023

Colloid

The particulate matter so dispersed.
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Dec 17, 2023

Crystalloid

(Botany) Any of various minute crystallike particles consisting of protein and found in certain plant cells, especially oily seeds.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2023

Crystalloid

Resembling or having properties of a crystal or crystalloid.
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Dec 17, 2023

Crystalloid

(chemistry) Any substance that can be crystallized from solution; a water-soluble crystalline substance that can diffuse through a semipermeable membrane, as opposed to a colloid which cannot.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2023

Crystalloid

(botany) One of the microscopic particles resembling crystals, consisting of protein matter, which occur in certain plant cells.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2023

Crystalloid

Crystal-like; transparent like crystal, or shaped like a crystal.
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Dec 17, 2023

Crystalloid

Crystal-like; transparent like crystal.
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Dec 17, 2023

Crystalloid

A body which, in solution, diffuses readily through animal membranes, and generally is capable of being crystallized; - opposed to colloid.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2023

Crystalloid

One of the microscopic particles resembling crystals, consisting of protein matter, which occur in certain plant cells; - called also protein crystal.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2023

FAQs

What is a crystalloid?

A solution where the solute is completely dissolved.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 21, 2024

Can crystalloids scatter light?

No, they are typically clear and do not scatter light.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 21, 2024

How do colloids differ from solutions?

Colloids have larger particles that do not dissolve.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 21, 2024

What is an example of a colloid?

Milk is a common example.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 21, 2024

Do colloids settle over time?

Generally, they do not settle.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 21, 2024

What are crystalloids used for in medicine?

For hydration and electrolyte balance.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 21, 2024

Are colloids visible to the naked eye?

The mixture is, but individual particles are not.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 21, 2024

What defines a colloid?

A mixture with particles dispersed but not dissolved.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 21, 2024

Are crystalloids always liquid?

They can be in any state but are often liquid.
Janet White
Jan 21, 2024

Can colloids be made with gases?

Yes, like foam.
Janet White
Jan 21, 2024

Can colloids be filtered?

Not easily, due to the size of the particles.
Janet White
Jan 21, 2024

Are crystalloids conductive?

Yes, if they contain ions.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 21, 2024

How do crystalloids affect blood pressure?

They can increase it by increasing fluid volume.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 21, 2024

Do crystalloids have a higher osmolarity than colloids?

It depends on the solute concentration.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 21, 2024

Can colloids be separated by centrifugation?

Often, yes.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 21, 2024

What's the clinical significance of crystalloids?

They're crucial for patient fluid management.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 21, 2024

Do all colloids show the Tyndall effect?

Most do, but not all.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 21, 2024

Are colloids or crystalloids better for dehydration?

Crystalloids are typically preferred.
Janet White
Jan 21, 2024

Can colloids be artificially created?

Yes, they are often manufactured.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 21, 2024

Is smoke a colloid?

Yes, it's a colloid of solid particles in air.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 21, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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