Architecture of Lung Parenchyma
Two essential tasks of the mammalian lung are to provide a large gas-exchanging surface and to promote both the supply of oxygen-rich air to this surface and the removal of waste gasses from it. The mammalian lung solves the problem of providing ample surface by being, in large part, an open-celled foam, and it accomplishes the supply and removal of gasses by passively changing its volume while under varying tension. Neither solution is the only one available to an organism; the exchanging surfaces of avian lungs are more similar to bundled tubes, and air is propelled through this constant-volume array by the action of peripheral sacs.
KeywordsFree Edge Alveolar Septum Geometric Similarity Respiratory Bronchiole Mammalian Lung
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