Osmotic Lysis

∞ generated and posted on 2016.01.18 ∞

Loss of integrity of a cell envelope within a hypotonic solution such that cytoplasmic contents are released into the extracellular environment.

Osmotic lysis

Figure legend: Red blood cells (RBCs), because they lack cell walls, are prone to osmotic lysis given suspension in a hypotonic, that is, low-solute solution. Because solute concentrations inside of these cells is high in comparison with outside, the water osmotically 'rushes' into the cells, expanding the cytoplasm to the point of bursting. Here the small, black circles found both inside and outside of the RBCs are solute particles, i.e., ions or molecules.