Chapter 1: Life Processes

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Life Processes


How are the alveoli designed to maximise the exchange of gases?


Each bronchiole ends up in a balloon-like structure called alveoli. Alveoli are rich in blood vessels. Because of the balloon-like structure, alveoli provide a maximum surface for the exchange of gases. During inhalation, our ribs move out and the diaphragm moves down which increases the area of the chest cavity and air enters into the lungs. The blood vessels of alveoli carry this oxygen and transport it to all the cells of the body. Carbon dioxide from all parts of the body is brought by blood and released in the alveoli which are further thrown out during exhalation. The exchange of gases takes place through diffusion. But in large-sized animals and humans, diffusion is not sufficient for oxygen requirement in the cells.

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