6.4.1 - Distinguish between ventilation, gas exchange and cell respiration Ventilation
The pumping mechanism that moves air in and out of the lungs efficiently, thereby maintaining the concentration gradient for diffusion.
The exchange of gases between an organism and its surroundings, including the uptake of oxygen and the release of carbon dioxide in animals and plants.
The controlled release of energy in the form of ATP from organic compounds in cells. It is a continuous process in all cells.
6.4.2 - Explain the need for a ventilation system
The ventilation system is needed to maintain a
high concentration gradient in the alveoli
. Given that humans have such high demand for oxygen, it needs to be able to be delivered to all their cells in order to support respiration. The
lungs are the respiratory surfaces
used for gas exchange. The action of ventilation brings air down into the lungs for exchange. Without it, the lungs would be useless, as no air would be able to reach their surface. The concentration gradient in the alveoli is maintained using
. Oxygen (O
) enters the lungs, diffuses across, and enters the bloodstream. Carbon dioxide (CO
) leaves the blood. The concentration of oxygen on one side is kept high, while the concentration of carbon dioxide remains low.
6.4.3 - Describe the features of alveoli that adapt themselves to gas exchange
The alveoli have a
large total surface area
, which increases the amount of gas that can be diffused across at any given time. This is the result of their spherical shape.