## Biomedical Engineering 403 Diffusion: The Gases across the Blood-Gas Barrier

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### Reading for Today:

Chapter 3 in West .

### Howdy, folks!

This is what happened in class today (9-8-97). As usual, all of this is in outline format with hypertext, so if you want to review the specifics, or if you have any questions on a specific topic, click the hypertext for that topic.

The theme of today's lecture is:

#### How gas gets from the lungs into the blood!

So we'll be dealing with topics such as Fick's law, diffusion rates, and properties of gases that influence the rate at which they'll jump through the membranes of the lungs into that swimming pool we call the bloodstream.

• Once we actually suck air into our lungs, what should we do with it? It needs to get from the lungs to the blood, which eventually takes it to every living cell in the body. To get into the blood, it needs to cross the Blood-Gas Barrier.
• In order for gas to get from an alveolus into the bloodstream, it needs to pass
• through the cell that makes the wall of the alveolus
• through a very thin connective layer
• through the cell that makes the wall of the capillary
• and into the blood.

This minimal barrier is called the Blood-Gas Barrier.

• As engineers, we want to describe the passage of gas across this barrier in quantitative terms. To this end, we define the following terms: (be able to recognize these terms and use them in equations)
• Know also Fick's Law of Diffusion . It states quantitatively how a gas will diffuse through a medium. For example, it will tell us how O2 and CO2 will diffuse through the Blood-Gas Barrier.
• (MORE TO COME....)

And that's it for today!

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BME 403 Pages maintained by the T.A., Douglas Miles.