5 Why do we need a ventilation system? We are large organisms. Oxygen cannot diffuse into all ourcells directly from the air, nor can waste products be directlyejected from the body. We have specialised organ systems,which are efficient, but need delivery of nutrients andremoval of waste. The ventilation system ensures the bloodcan be the medium for this.We are land-borne. Gases need moist surfaces (membranes) inorder to diffuse. Our lungs are moist membranes, allowingoxygen to diffuse into the blood and carbon dioxideto diffuse out.The ventilation system maintains a largeconcentration gradient between the alveoli andthe blood. The constant flow of past the alveoli bringsblood with a high CO2 concentration and low O2concentration. Breathing out keeps the CO2 concentrationin the alveoli low, so it diffuses out of the blood.Breathing in keeps O2 concentration in the alveoli high,so it diffuses into the blood.Diagram from:
6 U: Ventilation maintains concentration gradients of oxygen and carbon dioxide between air in alveoli and blood flowing in adjacent capillaries.Q: Draw an alveolus and a capillary and label the differing concentrations of oxygen and carbon dioxide.Skill: Draw a diagram to show the structure of an alveolus and an adjacent capillary.
11 Q: Explain why the inner surface of alveoli needs to be moist. U: Type I pneumocytes are extremely thin alveolar cells that are adapted to carry out gas exchange.U: Type II pneumocytes secrete a solution containing surfactant that creates a moist surface inside the alveoli to prevent the sides of the alveolus adhering to each other by reducing surface tension.
12 U: Air is carried to the lungs in the trachea and bronchi and then to the alveoli in bronchioles.
14 U: Muscle contractions cause the pressure changes inside the thorax that force air in and out of the lungs to ventilate them.
15 Q: Differentiate between the volume and pressure changes that occur during inspiration and expiration.U: Different muscles are required for inspiration and expiration because muscles only do work when they contract. Q: Define “antagonistic muscles”. Application: External and internal intercostal muscles, and diaphragm and abdominal muscles as examples of antagonistic muscle action.
17 Nature of science: Obtain evidence for theories—epidemiological studies have contributed to our understanding of the causes of lung cancer.Application: Causes and consequences of lung cancer and emphysema.Causes of lung cancers: 87% smoking, 3% passive smoking, 5% air pollution, radon, asbestos, silicaConsequences: difficulties breathing, persistent coughing, coughing up blood, chest pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, general fatigueCauses of emphysema: loss of alveoli and a thickening of the walls due to proteins produced by phagocytes digesting the wallsConsequences: Low O2 and high CO2 in blood, low energy, shortness of breath, ventilation is more rapid and labored
18 Application: The social consequences of lung cancer and emphysema could be discussed. Why do people with emphysema feel tired all the time?Suggest why people with emphysema often have an enlarged and strained right side of the heart.
19 PRACTICALMonitoring of ventilation in humans at rest and after mild and vigorous exercise (ventilation rate and tidal volume should be measured).