Gas Exchange in the Lungs

  • Frank C. Hoppensteadt
  • Charles S. Peskin
Part of the Texts in Applied Mathematics book series (TAM, volume 10)


The lungs contain about 3 × 108 alveoli (little sacs) in which air and blood are brought close together so that gas exchange can occur. The principal gases exchanged are O2, which is picked up by the blood, and CO2, which leaves the blood stream and enters the air spaces of the lung. These gases need to cross the thin alveolar-capillary membrane; this crossing occurs by diffusion. In normal circumstances, the alveolar-capillary membrane presents so slight a barrier to diffusion that the blood in the alveolar capillaries achieves equilibrium with the alveolar air before leaving the capillaries.


Partial Pressure Alveolar Ventilation Computer Solution Arterial Partial Pressure Lung Simulation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Annotated References

  1. West, J. B.: Ventilation/Blood Flow and Gas Exchange, 5th Edition, Blackwell, Oxford, UK, 1990.Google Scholar
  2. Evans, J. W., Wagner, and West, J. B.: Conditions for reduction of pulmonary gas transfer by ventilation-perfusion inequality.Journal of Applied Physiology 36, 535–567, 1974.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank C. Hoppensteadt
    • 1
  • Charles S. Peskin
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Systems Science and EngineeringArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics Courant Institute of Mathematical SciencesNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations