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Henry - respiratory membrane In a healthy individual the...

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Henry's Law Henry's Law states that the amount of gas that dissolves in a fluid is determined by its solubility in water and its partial pressure in air. Thus the more soluble a gas is the more will dissolve into pulmonary surfactant; similarly, the higher the partial pressure of a gas, the more of that gas will dissolve into pulmonary surfactant. These two factors are extremely important in gas exchange. The relative concentration gradients of O 2 and CO 2 contribute to the diffusion of O 2 into the blood and CO 2 out of the blood. Although the concentration gradient of CO 2 is not as great as that for O 2 , the solubility of CO 2 in water is about 20 times that of O 2 (recall that the amount of gas that dissolves in a fluid is determined BOTH by its solubility in water and its partial pressure in air.) Gas Exchange Several other factors influence the exchange of gases in the lungs. First is the thickness of the
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Unformatted text preview: respiratory membrane. In a healthy individual, the respiratory membrane is about 0.5 mm thick. Certain pulmonary diseases increase the thickness of the membrane, gases diffuse across a much thicker membrane and the efficiency of gas exchange decreases. A second factor that affects gas exchange is the surface area of the respiratory membrane. Recall that increasing surface area increases diffusion. If completely flattened out, the surface area of the alveoli would be over 70 m 2 . Some diseases decrease the surface area of the alveoli and decrease respiration. Lastly, the lungs and capillaries respond to environmental factors to ensure that the amount of ventilation to particular alveoli matches the amount of perfusion to those same alveoli....
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