• List features that make the respiratory system efficient, and explain each one…
  • (Hint moist, thin, SA, passive…)

  • Describe how we keep our respiratory system clean (without even knowing it)
  • Ensure you use each of these words (goblet cell, cilia, mucus, swallow)
  • Diagram to help explain (you will probably have to make it)

Group C:

The surface must be thin walled so that diffusion across it can occur rapidly and efficiently. The alveoli (small, multi-layered sacs which are made of cells) in lungs needs to stay moist and damp so that everything can function normally, properly and efficiently. Specific cells in the alveoli create a substance called a surfactant. This creates the amount of surface tension of water smaller. This creates a better coating on alveoli so that it stays moist. This also keeps all alveoli from sticking to each other when someone breathes out (exhales).

Thin is a feature used in in bronchiole and alveolus. Bronchiole and Alveolus both have very thin walls. The exchange of gases between the blood and the air takes place through these walls. The bronchi extend into the lungs spreading in branches by bronchial tubes. The respiratory bronchiole's wall becomes thin to move blood and air tubes very close together, which easily enables permit gas exchange and at a very rapid rate.

Oak, Manali. "Structure of the Human Respiratory System." Buzzle Web Portal: Intelligent Life on the Web. 2000-2011. Web. 12 Feb. 2012. <http://www.buzzle.com/articles/structure-of-the-human-respiratory-system.html>.

John Carroll University. "Gas Exchange - ENotes.com." ENotes - Literature Study Guides, Lesson Plans, and More. 2012. Web. 12 Feb. 2012. <http://www.enotes.com/gas-exchange-reference/gas-exchange>.

Visual Histology. "Visual Histology - Histology Text Atlas Book - 303-485-9110." Histology Teaching Series on DVD and Video: Lecture Course With Lab Material - Complete Integrated Histology Course. Web. 12 Feb. 2012. <http://www.visualhistology.com/products/atlas/VHA_Chpt11_The_Respiratory_System.html>.

Diagram 1: Close diagram of alveoli
external image functions+of+alveoli.png

The passive feature during breathing helps improve the efficiency of the respiration process. The passive feature only occurs during the expiration process, meaning exhaling air, out from the lungs as the respiratory muscles are relaxed. The elastic lung and chest wall will return passively to their resting volume.

SA (Sleeping Apnea)
SA stands for Sleeping Apnea. This is a potentially life-threatening sleeping-disorder. Sleep Apnea means 'cessation of breath'. Basically this means that the airway is blocked or clogged in a couple different areas.
The upper airway can be blocked because (of):
  • There is tissue blocking it
  • Large tonsils
  • A large tongue
  • The airway muscles start to relax and collapse while being asleep
A lot of people who snore very loudly have sleeping apnea. This means that those people's breath starts and stops repeatedly during their sleep.

Types of sleep apnea:
1. Obstructive sleep apnea
  • This is the most common type of sleep apnea. This happens when the tissue in back of the throat relaxes when sleeping. This causes the tissue to block the airway in the neck.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea can be dangerous. The airway will be partly blocked or completely blocked. When the airway is partly block, it is harder for air to enter the lungs. This lowers the efficiency of respiration and any air that tries to squeeze through the blockage will cause snoring.Completely_Blocked_Airway.png

Sometimes, the airway may be completely blocked, where there is no airflow. This is called apnea. With little or no air in the lung, apnea can be very dangerous, by reducing the blood oxygen level. The brain then give signals to disrupt the sleep which helps to reopen the airway. Apnea can also end when there is a gasp.

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. "What Is Sleep Apnea? - NHLBI, NIH." NIH Heart, Lung

and Blood Institute. 1 Aug. 2010. Web. 12 Feb. 2012.

2. Central sleep apnea
  • This type of sleep apnea involves the central nervous system instead of an airway blockage. This happens when the brain is not able to send signals to the muscles that are supposed to control the breathing. These people barely snore.
3. Complex sleep apnea
  • Is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.
Another factor that affects this sleeping disorder are the nasal passages. This is affected by the structuring of the jaw and airway.
  • Describe how we keep our respiratory system clean (without even knowing it):
The Bronchial tubes are covered with mucus that acts as a glue that sticks dust, bacteria, germs, virus and even substance that creates allergic reaction from entering the lung. Things that can go deeper in the lung can be moved up by the mucus so it can be swallowed or coughed out.

external image how_we_breathe_understanding_how_lungs_respiratory_system_work_respiratory_system.jpg
In the nose and in the whole lung and air passage we have millions of small hairs that are called cilia. These hairs help filter out large particles that are trapped in the mucus by moving in wave like motion like a broom to sweep the dirt particles out. Each cilium sweep around 10 times a second to clean our lungs. Cilia can stop functioning when come in contact with harmful substance like cigarette or smoke.

Analogy: Cilia vs. Test Tube Cleaners

Cilia, the little hairs inside the nose, are located mostly in the entrance of the nose to trap the harmful and big particles from entering the respiratory system. These are hairs that helps to clean and trap things, so I thought of a brush. These hairs are very very little, so I was searching for a very small brush. Then I remember the test tube brush. It has many little hairs around the brush and its purpose is to clean. Test tubes has small opening and it is very long, and I think the nose is also small and long. The "brush" part of the test tube brush is quiet long and has a lot of hairs to cover big areas. The nose is long, so there are a lot of areas to cover, so there are a lot of cilia. When scrubbing the test tubes, the particles inside the test tube would just get trap by the little 'hairs' or bristles.
One difference between these two is the cilia is present in the nose and do the filter job subconsciously. The test tube cleaners we have to use force to push it into the test tubes and clean the mess.
Test Tube Cleaners
Test Tube Cleaners

Test Tube Cleaning Brush. N.d. Photograph. Science Lab Equipment. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. ProProfs. Web. 3 Mar. 2012. <http://www.proprofs.com/quiz-school/story.php?title=science-lab-equipment-quiz>.

Function of Alveoil. N.d. The Lungs. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2012.