Chapter

Physical Principles of Gas Exchange; Diffusion of Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide Through the Respiratory Membrane

After the alveoli are ventilated with fresh air, the next step in the respiratory process is diffusion of oxygen from the alveoli into the pulmonary blood and diffusion of carbon dioxide in the opposite direction, out of the blood. The process of diffusion is simply the random motion of molecules intertwining their way in all directions through the respiratory membrane and adjacent fluids. However, in respiratory physiology, one is concerned not only with the basic mechanism by which diffusion occurs but also with the rate at which it occurs; this is a much more complex problem, requiring a deeper understanding of the physics of diffusion and gas exchange.

Physics of Gas Diffusion and Gas Partial Pressures

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Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

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