The Biology Suffix -lysis

Kidney Dialysis

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The suffix (-lysis) refers to decomposition, dissolution, destruction, loosening, breaking down, separation, or disintegration.


Analysis (ana-lysis): method of study involving the separation of material into its constituent parts.

Autolysis (auto-lysis): the self-destruction of tissue typically due to the production of certain enzymes within cells.

Bacteriolysis (bacterio-lysis): the destruction of bacterial cells.

Biolysis (bio-lysis): the death of an organism or tissue by dissolution. Biolysis also refers to the decomposition of living material by microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi.

Catalysis (cata-lysis): the action of a catalyst to accelerate a chemical reaction.

Chemolysis (chemo-lysis): decomposition of organic substances through the use of chemical agents.

Chromatolysis (chromat-o-lysis): the dissolution or destruction of chromatin.

Cytolysis (cyto-lysis): the dissolution of cells by the destruction of the cell membrane.

Dialysis (dia-lysis): the separation of smaller molecules from larger molecules in a solution by the selective diffusion of substances across a semi-permeable membrane. Dialysis is also a medical procedure done to separate metabolic waste, toxins and excess water from the blood.

Electrodialysis (electro-dia-lysis): the dialysis of ions from one solution to another through the use of an electric current.

Electrolysis (electro-lysis): method of destroying tissue, such as hair roots, by the use of an electrical current. It also refers to a chemical change, specifically decomposition, that is caused by an electric current.

Fibrinolysis (fibrin-o-lysis): a natural occurring process involving the break down of fibrin in blood clots through enzyme activity. Fibrin is a protein that forms a network to trap red blood cells and platelets.

Glycolysis (glyco-lysis): process in cellular respiration that results in the break down of sugar in the form of glucose for the harvesting of energy in the form of ATP.

Hemolysis (hemo-lysis): destruction of red blood cells as a result of cell rupture.

Heterolysis (hetero-lysis): the dissolution or destruction of cells from one species by the lytic agent from a different species.

Histolysis (histo-lysis): the breakdown or destruction of tissues.

Homolysis (homo-lysis): the dissolution of a molecule or cell into two equal parts, such as the formation of daughter cells in mitosis.

Hydrolysis (hydro-lysis): the decomposition of compounds or biological polymers into smaller molecules by a chemical reaction with water.

Paralysis (para-lysis): the loss of voluntary muscle movement, function, and sensation that causes the muscles to become loose or flaccid.

Photolysis (photo-lysis): decomposition caused by light energy. Photolysis plays a crucial role in photosynthesis by splitting water to produce oxygen and high energy molecules which are used to synthesize sugar.

Plasmolysis (plasmo-lysis): shrinkage that typically occurs in the cytoplasm of plant cells due to the flow of water outside of the cell by osmosis.

Pyrolysis (pyro-lysis): the decomposition of chemical compounds due to exposure to high temperatures.

Radiolysis (radio-lysis): the decomposition of chemical compounds due to exposure to radiation.

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Bailey, Regina. "The Biology Suffix -lysis." ThoughtCo, Aug. 25, 2020, Bailey, Regina. (2020, August 25). The Biology Suffix -lysis. Retrieved from Bailey, Regina. "The Biology Suffix -lysis." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 22, 2023).