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Breathing and

Gas Exchange

Air is made of many different gases, the


major ones including;
78% Nitrogen
21 % Oxygen
.03% Carbon Dioxide
Less than 1% argon and other gases
Adults average 12 respirations / min which
is about 6 L of air exchanged per minute:
volume of one breath, about 500 ml. Only
about 250 ml of oxygen is utilized per
minute
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Respiratory System:
Function
1.Primary function of the
respiratory system is to obtain
oxygen for use by body's cells
& eliminate carbon dioxide
that cells produce .
2.Respiratory System includes
the respiratory airways leading
into (& out of) lungs plus the
lungs themselves

Gas exchange makes it possible for


animals to use food molecules
in cellular respiration. There are
3 phases to gas exchange:
1. Breathing (Pulmonary
Ventilation). A large, moist
surface is exposed to air and O2
diffuses into the blood as CO2
diffuses out..
2. Tissue exchange: O2 enters the
cell and CO2 exits the cell each
according to their concentration
gradients.
3. Transport: the O2 attaches to
hemoglobin molecules and is
conveyed to the bodys tissue
while CO2 is taken away.

Structures of the Human


Respiratory System

Nasal cavities (oral


cavity)Nasal cavities are two spaces located between the
roof of the mouth and the cranium
Air first enters the nasal cavity where it is filtered
by hairs and humidified and warmed by an
extensive surface area of membrane covered
bones called turbilaria.
The air we breath is also sampled for odours with
the olfactory apparatus.
On the side walls of each nasal cavity are three
projections called conchae. The conchae greatly
increase the surface over which air must travel.
This allows the air to be filtered (dust or
pathogens by hair) warmed and moistened
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Pharynx

- The pharynx is a large, air filled


cavity that branches into the trachea
and the esophagus.

A flap-like piece of cartilage called


the epiglottis separates the two
channels, closes off the trachea
during swallowing and keeps food out
of the respiratory tract
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Trachea (windpipe)

Thick muscular tube


containing cartilaginous
rings lined with ciliated,
mucus producing cells.
These cells further trap
and remove debris. Air
then passes over the
Larynx.
Larynx are thin sheets of
elastic ligaments that
vibrate to produce
sound and are protected
by the muscular Adams
apple.
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Bronchi (right & left )

Like the trachea, contain cartilage


rings. Carry air to right and left
lungs. The right bronchus is larger
than the left so a foreign body
inhaled is more likely to enter the
right lung.

The Lungs

The lungs are the


organs in which the
diffusion of gas takes
place.
Right Lung- the right
bronchus divides into
three secondary
bronchi
Left Lung- the left
bronchus gives rise to
two secondary bronchi
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Bronchioles

Made of smooth muscle,


lack cartilaginous rings.
The bronchi subdivide
again and again becoming
progressively smaller as
they branch through the
lung tissue.
These branched, much
smaller passages can
decrease in diameter
causing a weezing
sound.
The bronchioles are the
smallest of the air
conducting tubes.
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The Alveoli (Site of Gas


Exchange)

At the end of the


terminal
bronchioles are
alveoli
Tiny, inflatable
clusters of air sacs
in which most gas
exchange takes
place
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The Alveoli

The average
adults lungs
contain about 600
million alveoli
The alveoli are
surrounded by
capillary networks

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The Alveoli

Single layer of
cells provides easy
passage for gases
entering
surrounding
capillaries
(oxygen) and gases
leaving the
capillaries (carbon
dioxide).
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The walls of alveoli are coated with a thin


film of water & this creates a potential
problem.
Water molecules are more attracted to each
other than to air, and this attraction creates a
force called surface tension.
This surface tension increases as water
molecules come closer together, which is
what happens when we exhale & our alveoli
become smaller.
Potentially, surface tension could cause alveoli
to collapse and would make it more difficult to
're-expand' the alveoli (when you inhaled).
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Both of these would


represent serious problems:

-if alveoli collapsed they'd contain


no air & no oxygen -to diffuse into
the blood &,
-if 're-expansion' was more difficult,
inhalation would be very, very
difficult if not impossible. (think of
separating two wet pieces of glass)
Fortunately, our alveoli do not
collapse & inhalation is relatively
easy because the lungs produce a
substance called surfactant that
reduces surface tension.
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Norma
Collapse
l
d

The Pleural Membrane

Membrane that
surrounds each lobe of
the lungs. Separates the
lungs from the chest wall
and is filled with fluids
that reduce the friction
between the lungs and
the chest cavity during
inhalation.
A hole in the pleural
cavity is called
pneumothorax
(collapsed lung), and will
make it impossible for the
chest cavity to establish
pressure differences.
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Questions 1-14 page 248

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Respiratory Volume

Tidal Volume- amount of air that is


inhaled and exhaled in a normal
breathing movement
Inspiratory reserve volume- is
additional air that can be taken into the
lungs beyond regular, tidal breathing
Expiratory reserve volume- is
additional air that can be forced out of
the lungs beyond regular, tidal
breathing
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Respiratory Volume

Vital Capacity- The total of all gas that


can be moved into or out of the lungs.
Tidal volume + inspiratory reserve
volume + expiratory reserve volume

Residual Volume- the amount left in


the lungs after a full exhalation. This
residual air keeps the respiratory system
from collapsing in on itself.
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Lung volume

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The Respiratory
System
Mechanics of Breathing

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Pressure

Pressure differences between the


atmosphere and the lungs is what
determines the movement of gases into
and out of the lungs
Atmospheric pressure remains
relatively constant
Pressure in the chest cavity (pleural
pressure) varies
Gas moves from area of high pressure
to area of low pressure
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The Diaphragm

A band of muscles
that separates the
chest cavity from
the digestive cavity

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The Diaphragm
Contraction
When the diaphragm
contracts it flattens
pulling downwards.
This increases the
volume of the lungs,
decreasing plural
pressure.
This allows air to
enter the lungs
(atmospheric
pressure is higher)

Relaxation
Diaphragm returns to
dome shape due to the
force exerted by the
organs in the abdomen
Chest volume decreases
causing pleural
pressure to increase
Pleural pressure is
greater than
atmospheric pressure
causing air to leave the
lungs
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The Diaphragm

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The Diaphragm and


Breathing

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External Intercostal
muscles

Found between the ribs


A nerve stimulus causes these muscles
to contract
When the muscles contract, the rib
cage moves upward
When the rib cage moves upward this
increases the volume of the lungs,
decreasing pressure and allowing
inhalation
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Internal Intercostal
Muscles

Muscles that pull the rib cage downward


during times of extreme exercise
The downward pulling on the rib cage
increases exhalation
This is important to help rid the body of
excess CO2 produced during exercise
The internal intercostal muscles are not
employed during normal breathing

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Mechanics of Breathing

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The Respiratory
System
Regulation

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Regulation of
Respiration

Regulation
depends
primarily on the
respiratory
control centers
located in the
medulla and
pons of the
brain stem
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Regulation of
Respiration

Breathing is regulated so that the


levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and
acid are kept within normal limits
The Phrenic nerve connects the
medulla to the diaphragm
The diaphragm and other muscles of
respiration are voluntary in the sense
that they can be regulated by
messages from the higher brain
centers (I.e. Holding your breath)
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Chemoreceptors

Chemoreceptors are specialized nerve


receptors that are sensitive to specific
chemicals
There are two different types of
chemoreceptors used to regulate breathing:

carbon dioxide (acid) chemoreceptors :


When carbon dioxide dissolves in blood it forms
a weak acid. When acid levels in the blood are
too high, receptors in the medulla oblongata
trigger increased breathing rates.
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Primary Regulatory
System
Carbon Dioxide chemoreceptors
in the medulla oblongata are the
primary regulatory system
When CO2 levels are detected to
be too high, and acceleration of
breathing rate is triggered

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Secondary Regulatory
System

The back up system


consist of Carotid
and Aortic
Bodies:
These receptors
detect low levels of
dissolved oxygen
in the blood, tell the
medulla to increase
breathing rate.
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Secondary Regulatory
System

Eg) Holding your breath (primary and secondary


response)
-CO2 levels rise, O2 levels drop
-High CO2 levels result in high acid level triggering
increase in breathing.
Eg 2)High Altitude (secondary response only)
-CO2 levels in the body remain constant, it is the lower
oxygen levels that initiate increased breathing.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning occurs when CO out
competes oxygen for binding sites on hemoglobin.
Low O2 in tissue cause the medulla to increase
breathing rates, further increasing CO concentrations.
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Gas Exchange and


Transport
Occurs by simple diffusion along
partial pressure gradients

What is Partial Pressure?


It's the individual pressure exerted
independently by a particular gas
within a mixture of gasses.

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The body is continuously using up


oxygen, so not surprisingly the tissues
and veins have the lowest oxygen
partial pressure (around 5KPa)
The alveoli have a Partial Pressure of
O2 of around 15 KPa
The partial pressures of CO2 for these
areas is just the opposite: Low in the
alveoli, High in the tissues and
veins
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Oxygen Transport
Not enough oxygen can diffuse into the
blood plasma for cellular use (0.3mL per
100mL of blood). The body needs much
more.
Oxygen is carried in blood:
1 - bound to hemoglobin (98.5% of all
oxygen in the blood or 20mL per 100mL of
blood)
Oxygen + Hemoglobin = Oxyhemoglobin
2 - dissolved in the plasma (1.5%)

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Oxygen Transport

As blood moves into the body tissues,


the partial pressure of oxygen drops
dramatically, causing the dissociation
of the oxyhemoglobin. The rate of
dissociation is dependant on the
Partial pressure.
The relationship between oxygen
levels and hemoglobin saturation is
indicated by the oxygen-hemoglobin
dissociation (saturation) curve
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Carbon Dioxide
Transport

Carbon dioxide - transported from


the body cells back to the lungsin 3
different ways, as:
1 - carbaminohemoglobin - 27%

formed when CO2 combines with


hemoglobin (hemoglobin molecules that
have given up their oxygen)

2 - dissolved in the plasma - 9%


3 bicarbonate ions (HCO3) - 64%
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Carbon Dioxide
Transport
when CO2 (released by cells making ATP)
combines with H2O carbonic acid is formed
If too much carbonic acid was formed in the
blood, pH would drop to dangerous levels.
due to the enzyme in red blood cells called
carbonic anhydrase, Carbonic acid further
dissociates into bicarbonate and hydrogen
ions.

CO2 + H20 -----> H2CO3 -----> HCO3- + H+

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Carbon Dioxide
Transport

The hydrogen ions dislodge O 2 from


hemoglobin and bind there producing
reduced hemoglobin. This takes
hydrogen ions out of solution acting like
a buffer.
At the lungs, oxygen displaces H + ions
from hemoglobin
H+ combines with bicarbonate ions
creating CO2 and H2O.
CO2 diffuses out to the lungs.
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Diseases and
disorders of the
respiratory tract

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Hiccups

Are spasms of the diaphragm


thought to be caused by not enough
CO2 in the body. Thus, hiccups are
frequently cured by breathing into a
paper bag.
Longest Hiccupping Fit
In 1922 Charles Osborne from Iowa started
hiccupping and continued until 1990. He
did not find a cure but had a normal life.
He was married twice and had eight
children. He had the hiccups for 78 years .
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Laryngitis

-Is an inflammation of the vocal


cords in which the person partially
or totally loses his/her voice.

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Bronchitis

Bacterial, viral,
environmental
-Is an inflammation of
the bronchi, causing
them to over-secrete
mucus, which in turn,
causes coughing.
-Especially bad in the
bronchioles where
there is no cartilage

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Pneumonia

-Pneumonia is an inflammation or
infection of the lungs.
-The lungs' air sacs fill with pus,
mucus, and other liquid and can not
function properly. Oxygen can not
reach the blood.
Normal

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Pleurisy

-Is an infection of the pleural


membranes lining the inside of the
chest cavity and coating the lungs.
Normally these membranes are very
slippery, aiding in breathing, but
when they become infected, they
dont slide over each other as well,
and breathing becomes painful.
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Asthma

-Is an allergic reaction


that causes constriction of
the bronchiole muscles,
thereby reducing the air
passages, thus the
amount of air that can get
to the alveoli.
-During normal
expiration, alveoli and
bronchiole collapse, but
because of mucus and
swelling breathing out
becomes very hard.
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Emphysema

-Is a progressive loss of


elasticity in the lungs
due to rupture of some
alveolar walls,
coalescing of alveoli, and
formation of scar tissue.
-It is believed that
emphysema often is a
late effect of chronic
infection or irritation of
the bronchial tubes do to
continued damage
(smoking etc.).
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Lung cancer

Has been shown to be more


common in people who
smoke cigarettes and/or who
are constantly forced to
inhale someone elses side
stream smoke. (at least 85%
of the disease is related to
smoking)
-Similarly, people who work
around substances like
asbestos fibers, coal dust,
flour dust, or dry, crumbled,
dusty bird droppings for
much of their lives,
frequently show signs of lung
diseases caused by these
substances.
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