The Function of Respirator Tract Cilia

  • M. J. Sanderson
  • M. A. Sleigh
Part of the Ettore Majorana International Science Series book series (EMISS, volume 6)


The function of the respiratory tract is gas exchange; the respiratory mucosa is continually exposed to the inhaled air and its contaminants, in the form of dust particles, bacteria and toxic gases. To function normally under most conditions, the respiratory tract has become specialized, developing the necessary defence mechanisms to prevent the otherwise inevitable dehydration, damage or clogging of the delicate pulmonary tissue. The defence mechanisms of the lungs can be arbitrarily divided into two categories; the specific mechanisms, often mediated by the immunological responses of the lung, and the nonspecific mechanisms. The latter include the aerodynamic filtration by the nasal chambers and the removal from the lungs of respiratory tract fluids with the deposited contaminants, by mucociliary transport or coughing. (Brain et al., 1977; Wanner, 1977).


Mucociliary Clearance Ciliary Beat Frequency Recovery Stroke Ciliary Activity Mucociliary Transport 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. Sanderson
    • 1
  • M. A. Sleigh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of SouthamptonSouthampton, HantsEngland

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