Science, Tech, Math › Science The Biology Suffix -lysis Share Flipboard Email Print Science Photo Library/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images Science Biology Basics Cell Biology Genetics Organisms Anatomy Physiology Botany Ecology Chemistry Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Regina Bailey Biology Expert B.A., Biology, Emory University A.S., Nursing, Chattahoochee Technical College Regina Bailey is a board-certified registered nurse, science writer and educator. Her work has been featured in "Kaplan AP Biology" and "The Internet for Cellular and Molecular Biologists." our editorial process Regina Bailey Updated August 05, 2019 The suffix (-lysis) refers to decomposition, dissolution, destruction, loosening, breaking down, separation, or disintegration. Examples 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.