Edexcel practical materials created by Salters-Nueld Advanced Biology, ©University o York Science Education Group.
Practical 7.2 (cont.)
Tubes run rom the chamber to a mouthpiece and back again. Breathing in and out throughthe tubes makes the lid o the chamber all and rise. The volume o air the person inhales andexhales can be calculated rom the distance the lid moves.The apparatus can be calibrated so that the movement o the lid corresponds to a givenvolume. A canister containing soda lime is inserted between the mouthpiece and the foatingchamber. This absorbs the CO
that the subject exhales. In which direction will the pen movewhen the subject inhales?
In order to interpret the spirometer trace you need to know what both the vertical and thehorizontal scales represent.
Finding the vertical scale
The vertical scale measures the volume o air in the chamber. The spirometer’s foating-chamber lid has markings on it showing how much gas it contains.
First, empty the chamber completely and, i using a kymograph, make a mark on thepaper while it is stationary, to show where the pen lies when there is no gas in the tank.Then orce a known volume o air into the tank (e.g. 500 cm
) and make a second mark on the kymograph trace.
Repeat this procedure until the chamber has been completely lled with air. I using akymograph, i the trace is too large or too small, the length o the arm supporting the pencan be adjusted so that the trace ts onto the paper.
Write the values next to your calibrating marks – they will help with interpretation o thetrace later. Once the marks have been made on the paper it should be possible to counthow many squares on the trace represent 1 dm
Finding the horizontal scale
On most kymographs there is a switch allowing you to set the speed at which the drum turns.Choose a speed close to 1 mm per second. This is your horizontal scale. Make a note o thespeed on your trace, so that the trace can be interpreted once the experiment is complete.
Collecting data on breathing
Ater calibration, the spirometer is lled with oxygen. A disinected mouthpieceis attached to the tube, with the tap positioned so that the mouthpiece is connected tothe outside air. The subject to be tested puts a nose clip on, places the mouthpiece intheir mouth and breathes the outside air until they are comortable with breathingthrough the tube.
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