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To create a larger surface area for DIFFUSION to take place, the lungs contain many small air sacs called ALVEOLI. These air sacs have a thin wall to allow for the diffusion of Respiratory gases (0 2 & CO 2 ) to take place. CAPPILATIES cover these thin walls to allow for efficient DIFFUSION to occur.
Capillary (less than 1 RBC wide so to distort cell as it travels through to increase its surface area aiding diffusion) Alveolus (thin moist cell wall to assist with diffusion)
Due to atmospheric pressure AIR is thinner at altitude compared to at sea level.
This is because as you travel further away from the earth the area that the Air components has to fill is larger thus spreading out the molecules.
Place a bag of M & M’s in a small plastic box and see how many collisions they have with each other as you move the box. Now transfer the same M & M’s into a larger plastic box – notice that they have more space to move and have less collisions.
AIR – as it is made up of many components it is easier and more accurate to compare the amount of each gas if we compare it to the other gases in terms of “pressure” rather than its %. How much pressure (the number of collisions each particle has with others) is called “partial pressure” (pp).
Saturation of the HEAMOGLOBIN can be represented by an ‘S’ shaped curve on a graph.
% Hb sat. with O 2 pp O 2 (mmHg) = O 2 Dissociation curve at rest = O 2 curve during exercise when temp & acidity increases making it harder for O 2 to attach to Hb. = Myoglobin Dissociation curve. Has greater affinity for O 2 so can saturate easier.