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Ch 2: Human Respiratory System

About This Chapter

Use these lessons to discover the inner workings of the human respiratory system. Prepare for an exam, memorize definitions, or simply enhance your knowledge about how human lungs breathe and distribute oxygen in the body.

Human Respiratory System - Chapter Summary

Without oxygen, our brains can't work, so the human respiratory system is one of the most vital systems to our existence. These lessons provide a thorough analysis of the different parts and functions of the respiratory system.

To make sure you are retaining the information in the chapter, try answering the questions in the lesson quizzes. You have the ability to access these quizzes before or after you review a lesson. Each quiz contains several questions that allow you to choose the best possible answer. You can use any Internet-ready device to take the quiz, or you can print the quiz worksheets.

Study this chapter carefully so that you will be ready to do the following:

  • Map out the respiratory zones of the lungs and airway
  • Name the functions of the pleural membranes and cavities
  • Describe how ventilation muscles cause expiration and inspiration
  • Identify gas exchange efficiency and the respiratory surface
  • Analyze ventilation and pulmonary surfactant function
  • Check out the partial pressure gradients and diffusion of the gas exchange
  • Define the process of internal and external respiration
  • Examine the different factors affecting gas transport in the body
  • Discuss how the blood transports carbon dioxide
  • Point out ways in which ventilation is regulated

12 Lessons in Chapter 2: Human Respiratory System
Gross Anatomy of the Airway and Lungs: Conducting & Respiratory Zones

1. Gross Anatomy of the Airway and Lungs: Conducting & Respiratory Zones

The respiratory system includes the lungs as well as other organs that help to get oxygen into the blood and carbon dioxide out of the blood. The conducting zone of the respiratory system carries oxygen into the lungs and carbon dioxide out of the lungs. The respiratory zone is where oxygen and carbon dioxide move into and out of the blood.

Function of Pleural Cavities and Pleural Membranes

2. Function of Pleural Cavities and Pleural Membranes

Each lung is contained within a pleural cavity, the space between the outside of the lung and inside of the chest wall. Pleural membranes cover the outside of the lungs and line the inside of the chest wall. The lungs remain expanded when we breathe due to a vacuum effect within the pleural cavity.

How Ventilation Muscles Cause Inspiration and Expiration

3. How Ventilation Muscles Cause Inspiration and Expiration

What is ventilation? It includes both inspiration and expiration, the movement of air into and out of our lungs. In this lesson, learn about how the diaphragm contracts and relaxes and its impact on lung volume.

The Respiratory Surface and Gas Exchange Efficiency

4. The Respiratory Surface and Gas Exchange Efficiency

The respiratory membrane includes millions of alveoli with a surface area as large as a tennis court. This large respiratory surface area, combined with other factors, makes for efficient gas exchange to meet our metabolic needs.

Pulmonary Surfactant Function and Ventilation

5. Pulmonary Surfactant Function and Ventilation

Our lungs are lined with a thin layer of water. The water creates surface tension, which makes it difficult for the lungs to expand and allow for gas exchange. Pulmonary surfactant is made by our lungs and decreases the surface tension so we can breathe.

Gas Exchange: Diffusion & Partial Pressure Gradients

6. Gas Exchange: Diffusion & Partial Pressure Gradients

If you've ever experienced shortness of breath on top of a mountain, this lesson is for you. Oxygen and carbon dioxide move into and out of our blood by diffusion. The rate of diffusion is determined by partial pressure gradients across the respiratory membrane in our lungs. Partial pressure is a function of both concentration and atmospheric pressure.

External and Internal Respiration in the Lungs: Definition & Process

7. External and Internal Respiration in the Lungs: Definition & Process

This lesson explores the process by which oxygen and carbon dioxide get into and out of the blood located in the lungs and in our metabolizing tissues. The partial pressure gradient for each gas determines both the direction and rate of diffusion across the respiratory membrane.

Gas Transport: Oxygen and Hemoglobin

8. Gas Transport: Oxygen and Hemoglobin

Did you know that almost all of the oxygen transported in our blood is bound to hemoglobin? Hemoglobin is loaded with oxygen in the lungs and unloaded of oxygen in the metabolizing tissues. This lesson will describe how oxygen is transported in our blood.

Gas Transport: Cooperative Binding of Oxygen with Hemoglobin

9. Gas Transport: Cooperative Binding of Oxygen with Hemoglobin

Our cells need oxygen. Most of the oxygen is delivered to our cells bound to hemoglobin. This lesson describes how cooperative binding of hemoglobin maximizes oxygen delivery to our metabolizing tissues.

Gas Transport: Effect of Temperature, pH & Metabolism

10. Gas Transport: Effect of Temperature, pH & Metabolism

Hemoglobin carries almost all the oxygen to our metabolizing tissues. This lesson discusses physiological factors that stimulate hemoglobin to unload oxygen in our tissues. For example, temperature, carbon dioxide, pH and metabolism all influence the affinity of hemoglobin for oxygen.

Carbon Dioxide Transport in the Blood

11. Carbon Dioxide Transport in the Blood

While carbon dioxide is a metabolic waste product, it plays some important physiological roles as well. This lesson describes how carbon dioxide is transported in our blood, how carbon dioxide is converted into a pH buffer, and how carbon dioxide helps with oxygen transport.

Autonomic Breathing: How Ventilation is Regulated

12. Autonomic Breathing: How Ventilation is Regulated

Did you know that our nervous system controls our breathing? This lesson describes the basic elements of the homeostatic system responsible for balancing oxygen supply with metabolic demand.

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