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Ch 5: Respiratory System

About This Chapter

Watch anatomy and physiology video lessons with brief quizzes for immediate feedback. Learn about the many different aspects of the human respiratory system.

The lungs are a very interesting part of our body. Have you ever really thought about how they work? Do you know they are just one portion of the body's entire respiratory system? The lungs may be what you immediately think about when you hear the term 'respiratory system,' but the truth is that this system is made up of more than just the lungs. The lungs need assistance from other parts, like airways and blood vessels, in order to properly do their job. In this chapter, you will learn about the respiratory system, including an in-depth look at the lungs and all the other associated parts of this system. Lessons will touch on the process of gas exchange and transport. You'll take a look at how breathing is regulated, too. Some of the things you'll have learned by the end of this chapter include:

  • The gross anatomy of the lungs
  • The function of ventilation muscles
  • The process of external and internal respiration
  • How oxygen and hemoglobin relate to each other in the body
  • How the lung volume and capacity is tested

VideoObjective
Gross Anatomy of the Airway and Lungs: Conducting & Respiratory Zones Explore how the lungs are designed.
Function of Pleural Cavities and Pleural Membranes Examine this part of the respiratory anatomy.
How Ventilation Muscles Cause Inspiration and Expiration Learn how muscles help with the intake and exhaling of air.
Gas Exchange: Function of the Pulmonary Surfactant & Nature of the Respiratory Surface Discover what the gas exchange is.
Gas Exchange: Diffusion & Partial Pressure Gradients Take a look at regulation during gas exchange.
External and Internal Respiration in the Lungs: Definition & Process Study the function of the lungs.
Gas Transport: Oxygen and Hemoglobin Analyze how gas is transported in the body.
Gas Transport: Cooperative Binding of Oxygen with Hemoglobin Explore what happens between oxygen and hemoglobin.
Carbon Dioxide Transport in the Blood Examine how carbon dioxide is transported in the blood.
Autonomic Breathing: How Ventilation is Regulated Discover how our bodies know how to breath in and out.
What are Pulmonary Function Tests? Take a look at the different pulmonary tests and what they are used for.

13 Lessons in Chapter 5: 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.

What Are Pulmonary Function Tests?

13. What Are Pulmonary Function Tests?

Pulmonary function tests are used to measure air movement into and out of the lungs. Spirometry is the most common way to measure airflow. This lesson will describe the use of spirometry to measure lung volumes and flow rates as well as how breathing disorders are diagnosed.

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