Basic biology of breathing

Basic biology of breathing

We have a balloon pump inside our body that is meant to pump air in and out of the body. These are our lungs. They are operated by three groups of muscles. The diaphragm which is situated under the lungs and can pull and push the lungs from the bottom. We also have muscles around the rib-cage that can pull and push the lungs from the sides. The third group of muscles are our chest muscles that can pull and push the lungs from the top.

The two lungs are connected to a Y shaped connector (bottom splitter) and from the splitter there is a pipe going up in through the throat. From there the pipe gets to another Y shaped connector (top splitter). A narrow pipe goes from the top splitter to the nasal cavity that is connected to the nose. A wider pipe goes from the top splitter to the mouth cavity.

Inside the lungs we have hundreds of millions of small bubbles that function as exchange chambers. There is a high concentration of these bubbles in the upper part of the lungs and as we go down in the lugs, there are less bubbles.

When there is oxygen (O2) on one side of the bubbles and Carbon dioxide (CO2) on the other side of the bubbles, they diffuse into the bubbles and exchange places.

The bubbles are surrounded on one side with blood vessels that deliver the (CO2). Once Oxygen (O2) exchanges places with (CO2) red blood cells “capture” the oxygen (O2), travel around the blood stream and deliver the oxygen (O2) to every cell, tissue, muscle and organ. They all need a constant supply of oxygen (O2) to survive.

The red blood-cells carrying oxygen will let go of the oxygen, depending on concentration of CO2 in the blood. The higher the concentration of CO2, the easier it is for the red blood cells to release the oxygen.

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