Respiratory system

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by JamieToye15
Last updated 6 years ago

Human Anatomy

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Respiratory system

Respiratory System

To supply the cells of our body with a continuous supply of oxygen for respiration and to remove the carbon dioxide generated by respiration, we use a gas exchange. This is the process of where carbon dioxide and oxygen move between the lungs and blood.Diffusion occurs when molecules move from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration.This occurs during gaseous exchange as the blood in the capillaries surrounding the alveoli has a lower oxygen concentration, than the air in the alveoli which has just been inhaled.Both alveoli and capillaries have walls which are only one cell thick. This allows gases to diffuse across them. Once the blood is oxygenated, it then goes back to the heart and then into the body. The same happens with Carbon Dioxide. The blood in the surrounding capillaries has a higher concentration of CO2 than the inspired air due to it being a waste product of energy production. Therefore CO2 diffuses the other way, from the capillaries, into the alveoli where it can then be exhaled.

The volume in the lung can be divided into units: Tidal Volume-Tidal volume is the lung volume representing the normal volume of air. In a healthy, young, human adult, tidal volume is approximately 500 mL per inspiration or 7 mL/kg of body mass.Expiratory reserve volume- The amount of extra air exhaled (above tidal volume) during a forceful breath out.Inspiratory reserve volume- The amount of extra air inhaled (above tidal volume) during a deep breath. This can be as high as 3000mlResidual volume-the volume of air remaining in the lungs after a maximal exhalation.Inspiratory capacity- The volume of gas that can be taken into the lungs in a full inhalation, starting from the resting inspiratory position. It's equal to the tidal volume plus the inspiratory reserve volume.Functional residual capacity- The amount of gas remaining at the end of normal respiration.Vital capacity- The most air you can exhale after taking the deepest breath you can. It can be up to ten times more than you would normally exhale.Total lung capacity- This is the vital lung capacity plus the residual volume and is the total amount of air the lungs can hold. The average total lung capacity is 6000ml, although this varies with age, height, sex and health.

Gaseous Exchange

The primary organs of the respiratory system are the lungs, which aims to take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide as we breathe. The human respiratory system is a series of organs responsible for taking in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide. When the de-oxygenated blood enters the lungs gaseous exchange occurs where it turns oxygenated and goes back into the heart and eventually the body.

Lung Volumes

Function of the system

Mechanism of breathing

The action of breathing in and out is due to changes of pressure within the thorax, in comparison with the outside. This action is also known as external respiration. When we inhale the intercostal muscles (between the ribs) and diaphragm contract to expand the chest cavity.The diaphragm moves downwards and the intercostal muscles move the rib cage upwards and out. The increase in size, decreases the internal air pressure and so air from the outside goes into the lungs to even the pressures. When we breath out, the diaphragm and intercostal muscles relax and return to their normal positions, reducing the thoracic cavity. Chemoreceptors found in the arteries monitor the carbon dioxide and oxygen levels in the blood and sends these messages to the medulla oblongata. If the levels of oxygen decrease, the ventilation increase the raise the oxygen levels. If carbon dioxide levels increase then carbonic acid is released into the blood.

Your breathing rate is regulated by neural and chemical mechanisms. Neural- The neural control of respiration refers to functional interactions between networks of neurons that creates movements of the lungs, airways and chest wall and abdomen. This is to accomplish effective organismal uptake of oxygen and removing carbon dioxide, airway liquids and irritants in blood. There are two neural mechanisms that govern respiration; one for voluntary and one automatic breathing. The voluntary impulse originates in the cerebral cortex of the brain and the automatic impulse is in th medulla oblongata. Chemical- There are chemoreceptors in the brain and the heart that sense the amount of oxygen, carbon dioxide and acid present in the body. Due to this, they modulate the respiratory rate to compensate for any disruptions in balance of any of these chemicals. Too much carbon dioxide or acidity and too little oxygen cause the respiratory rate to increase and vice versa. Carbon dioxide chemoreceptors are much more sensitive than oxygen chemoreceptors and therefore exert an effect with smaller changes.

Control of breathing


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