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Distinguish between ventilation, gas exchange and cell
Ventilation is the movement of volume of gas into and
out of the lungs. Lungs, upper airways trachea, bronchi,
bronchioles serve as a dynamic route of passage of air
during normal breathing.
This ventilation of our lungs maintains high oxygen and
low carbon dioxide concentrations at the respiratory
Gas exchange involves breathing, transport of gases,
and exchange of gases with tissue cells and the
circulating blood
Breathing is the first phase of the gas exchange process.
When an animal breathes, moist internal surface is
exposed to air. Oxygen diffuses across the cells lining
the lungs and into the surrounding blood vessels. At the
same time, carbon dioxide diffuses out of the blood and
into the lungs. As the animal exhales, carbon dioxide is
removed from the body.
A second phase of gas exchange is the transport of gases
by the circulatory system. The oxygen that has diffused

into the blood attaches to the hemoglobin in red blood

cells and is carried from the lungs to the bodys tissues.
Carbon dioxide is also transported in blood from the
tissues back to the lungs.

In the third phase of gas exchange, body cells take up

oxygen from blood and release carbon dioxide to the
blood. This oxygen is required for cells to obtain energy
from the food molecules the body has digested and
Gas exchange involves the respiratory system and the
circulatory system in servicing the cells of the body.
Cell respiration refers to the break down of food
resulting in the release of energy in the form of ATP.
C6H12O6 + 6O2 6CO2 + 6H2O + Energy
State the difference between ventilation, gas exchange
and cell respiration.

Ventilation: Is the exchange of air in the


Gas exchange: Process of exchanging one

gas for the other
(Carbon dioxide for oxygen). By DIFFUSION

Cell Respiration: A process occurring in the

Cytoplasm & Mitochondria of cells where
energy is released as ATP.

6.4.2 Explain the need for a ventilation system

Explain the necessity for a ventilation system.

A ventilation system is needed in order to refresh the air

in the lungs.
New air in the lungs is needed to maintain a
concentration gradient between alveoli and blood
6.4.4 Draw and label a diagram of the ventilation
system, including trachea, lungs, bronchi, bronchioles
and alveoli
Draw a diagram of the ventilation system including
trachea, bronchi bronchioles, and lungs.

6.4.5 Explain the mechanism of ventilation of the lungs

in terms of volume and pressure changes caused by
internal and external intercostals muscles, the
diaphragm and abdominal muscles
mechanism of breathing video


Air is inhaled into the lungs through the trachea,
bronchi and bronchioles.
the mechanism of ventilation in human lungs, includes
1. the action of the internal and external intercostals
2. the diaphragm, and
3. the abdominal muscles.

The external intercostals
muscles contract, moving
the ribcage up and out
The diaphragm contracts,
becoming flatter and
moving down.

The internal intercostals
muscles contract, moving
the ribcage down and in.
The abdominal muscles
contract, pushing the
diaphragm up into a
dome shape.
These muscle movements These muscle movements
increase the volume of the decrease the volume the
The pressure inside the
thorax drops below
atmospheric pressure
Air flows into the lungs
from outside the body
until the pressure inside
the lungs rises to
atmospheric pressure

The pressure inside the

thorax therefore rises
above atmospheric
Air flows out from the
lungs to outside the body
until the pressure inside
the lungs falls to
atmospheric pressure.

All the steps become more exaggerated when you are

exercising and thus breathing deeply. For example,
the abdominal muscles and intercostals muscles
achieve a grater initial thorax volume. This leads to
deeper breathing and thus more air moving into the

Breathing rate varies with exercise due to a number

of factors like
1. oxygen is becoming limited.
2. carbon dioxide builds up in blood.
3. lactic acid builds up in blood.
4. lowers blood pH
5. Chemoreceptors detect lowered pH
6. sensors in the carotid artery/aorta send impulses to
breathing center/present in the brain
stem/medulla; impulses sent to
diaphragmimpulses sent to intercostals muscles;
increases/decreses rate of breathing;
contraction/relaxation of muscles; involuntary
7. breathing rate increases to remove more carbon
dioxide from blood/lungs.

6.4.3 Describe the features of alveoli that adapt them

to gas exchange
Alveoli in the lungs are found as clusters at the end of
the smallest bronchioles.
There are approximately 300 million alveoli in each of
our lungs.

This increases the overall surface area for gas

The blood within the pulmonary arteries is relatively
low in oxygen and high in carbon-dioxide. While this
blood is in the capillary bed surrounding a cluster of
alveoli, oxygen diffuses from the air each alveolus
across two membranes.
The first of these is the single cell membrane making
up the wall of the alveolus and the second is the single
membrane making up the wall of the capillary.
Carbon dioxide diffuses in the opposite direction
through the same two cell membranes.


1. The greater number of alveoli increases surface
area for gas exchange.
2. The wall of the alveolus consists of a single layer of
very thin cells. The capillary wall also is a single
layer of very thin cells, so the gases only have to
diffuse a very short distance.
3. The alveolus is covered by a dense network of
capillaries with low oxygen and high carbon
dioxide concentration. Oxygen therefore diffuses
into the blood and carbon dioxide diffuses out.
4. Cells in the alveolus wall secrete a fluid which
keeps the inner surface of the alveolus moist,

allowing the gases to dissolve. The fluid also

contains a natural detergent, which prevents the
sides of the alveoli from sticking together.
Spherical shape of alveoli Provides a large surface
area for respiratory gases
to diffuse through.
Flattened single cell
Prevents respiratory gases
thickness of each alveolus from having to diffuse
through more cell layers.
moist inner lining of
Allows for efficient
Associated capillary bed Respiratory gases do not
have to diffuse far to
reach single cell thick

Transport of gases
Transport of oxygen
In the alveoli, where the partial
pressure of oxygen is high, oxygen
combines with hemoglobin to form
oxyhemoglobin. Each hemoglobin
molecule can bind up to four oxygen
In the tissues oxyhemoglobin
disassociates to release oxygen.
Transport of carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is transported in three different ways.
Approximately 70% of the CO2 reacts
with water to form carbonic acid,
which splits to form bicarbonate ions.
(HCO3-) diffuses into the plasma.

About 20% of the CO2 binds to

hemoglobin for its return trip to the
The remaining 10% stays dissolved in
the plasma as CO2