Necrosis is one of the pathways of the cell death, during which the cell’s lysosomes rupture, releasing hydrolase enzymes. Using a baking soda model of a eukaryotic cell and a vinegar filled “lysosome” the process of liquefaction necrosis is shown. This video, set to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”, shows the last moments of a dying cell, as digestive enzymes are released from the lysosome into the cytoplasm and surrounding structures. Note – structures are not to scale. No cells were harmed in the making of this video.


  1. In this project we have an excellent example of cellular death through liquified necrosis. Cellular death is the event of a biological cell dying from either being replaced by new cells or that its function ceases all together due to injury, disease, or death of the larger organism. In past years it was believed that necrosis was a result of catastrophic damage. Now there is evidence that it is a controlled type of cellular death. There are a few telltale signs that shows us that necrosis was the cause such as swollen cytoplasm and organelles, ruptured plasma membrane, and chromatin condensation. Lysosomes are responsible for carrying out this process, among others. They are found in all eukaryotic cells. Lysosomes only rupture completely during necrosis. This is because the permeability of the lysosome under goes chemical changes, however, these changes are still not completely understood today. The bag of vinegar used to represent the lysosome helped to show how the cell would breakdown as well as show the acidity of the lysosome. Based on the description of how a cell dies by necrosis, this demonstration worked great. It shows how the cell slowly breaks down from reacting to the lysosome. It leaves behind the characteristics of necrosis by the snot-like mass. The music was a great addition to the project to further convey that when this process is observed closely you can see that the cell goes through a sequence of events that leads to necrosis. It is not the result of a chaotic reaction or by chance.

    Katie Lewis
  2. This project provides the visualization of liquified cell necrosis and gives a thorough picture of an occurrence that was not understood for a long time. Irreversible damage to cells as a result of interactions with certain stimuli leads to cell death. Some of the stimuli mentioned include: bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, oxygen deprivation, heat, or radiation. The resulting death is known as necrosis. There is now research that can testify to the fact that necrosis is the cause of an organized cellular death. Liquefactive necrosis, also known as colliquative necrosis, is characterized by the dissolution of dead tissue and transformation into a liquid mass. This is a process in which lysosomes turn tissues into an opaque liquid as a result of lysosomal release of hydrolase enzymes. The lysosome is found in all eukaryotic cells and is sometimes referred to as the cell’s “stomach”. In a healthy cell, hydrolase enzyme function includes: digestion and removal of foreign substances by catalyzing chemical reactions (i.e: hydrolysis). When the cell begins to die, the enzymes are released into the cell’s cytoplasm. . This presentation gives a visual representation of the lysosomes as the bag of vinegar. When the lysosome (bag of vinegar) “ruptures” it starts to liquify the model cell. It is symbolic in the fact that it represents acidity of the cell as well. It is still unknown as to why lysosome permeability begins to change in the first place other than that it is a chemical change that alters to structure. Once it begins to “leak”, there is no saving the cell.

    Nikki Black

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