Respiratory Physiology

an interactive computer-assisted learning program (CAL) to teach foundation level respiratory physiology to undergraduate students.

By: David Dewhurst, Lynne Robertson, Stewart Cromar & Rachel Ellaway

This highly interactive program is designed to be used as a student-centred, self-paced learning resource and would occupy students for 3-4 hours. The content is divided into several sections accessible from a menu:

  • Introduction – the basic principles of respiration put into a health context by introducing some of the more common respiratory disorders.
  • Structure of the respiratory tract - structure and function of the upper respiratory tract (nose, mouth, pharynx and larynx), trachea, lungs, bronchial tree and alveoli.
  • Transport of gases:
    • transport of oxygen by haemoglobin (normal dissociation curve and physiological factors affecting it),
    • carbon dioxide (dissolved in plasma, in combination with haemoglobin, as bicarbonate).
  • Mechanics of breathing – introduces respiratory volumes and capacities and covers how the contractions of the respiratory muscles and diaphragm give rise to inspiration and expiration. Muscles involved in forced respiratory movements .
  • Control of Respiration
    • Nervous control  - central respiratory centres, autonomic reflexes and conscious control of breathing.
    • Chemical control - central and peripheral chemoreceptors, influence of hydrogen ions, carbon dioxide and oxygen in regulation of breathing.

High quality interactive graphics and animations are used extensively to explain principles such as how the respiratory muscles and diaphragm interact to cause inspiration and expiration. Throughout the emphasis is on problem-based tasks - interpretation of graphical data (e.g. haemoglobin dissociation curves), interpretation of experimental data, calculations (e.g. ventilatory volumes and dead space, volume of oxygen in arterial and venous blood), and exercises to stimulate understanding. There are also self-assessment questions (multiple choice, multiple true/false) in each section.

Language Versions: English

Recommended System Requirements:

  • Windows:
    • Microsoft Windows XP (32 bit), Windows Server 2003 (32-bit), Windows Server 2008 (32 bit), Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows 7 (32 bit and 64 bit), Windows 8
    • 2.33GHz or faster x86-compatible processor, or Intel Atom 1.6GHz or faster processor for netbooks
    • 128MB of RAM (1GB of RAM recommended for netbooks); 128MB of graphics memory
    • Internet Explorer 7.0 or later, Mozilla Firefox 4.0 or later, Google Chrome, Safari 5.0 or later, or Opera 11
  • Mac OS:
    • Mac OS X v10.6, v10.7, or v10.8
    • Intel Core Duo 1.83GHz or faster processor
    • 256MB of RAM; 128MB of graphics memory
    • Safari 5.0 or later, Mozilla Firefox 4.0 or later, Google Chrome, or Opera 11

Target Audience: first year students on a range of biomedical or biological science courses (medicine, physiology, pharmacology, dentistry, health sciences) in which human physiology is a major component.

Price: £250 (multiuser/departmental educational licence)

ISBN 1-874758-42-5
©2011 Sheffield Bioscience Programs

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