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Tracing Oxygen to the Big Toe and Back.

Ever wanted to know how your toe stays alive? Read on for the easy to understand answer.
by

Cody Adkins

on 19 April 2010

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Transcript of Tracing Oxygen to the Big Toe and Back.

The Conspiracy Between the Cardiovascular
and Respiratory systems. By Cody Adkins Inspiration Inspiration begins when the diaphragm contracts
downward and the ribcage muscles contract causing the ribs to move up and out. This causes the wet, sticky membrane on the inside of the ribs to pull the counterpart membrane around the lungs with it. The lungs are pulled open and as volume increases the pressure inside the lungs decreases causing air to be sucked in to the body. Air is inhaled through the nostrils of the nose and is funneled up to the nasal cavity where it is sent on its way to the sinuses. After the air circles around in the sinuses it makes its way down the pharynx and is guided into the larynx by the epiglottis. From there the air continues its descent down the trachea and into the lungs themselves. In the lungs air travels the the primary bronchus which splits off into a few secondary bronchi. They then become smaller tertiary bronchioles which become even smaller terminal bronchioles. At the end of the terminal bronchioles are alveoli which are where gas exchange occurs. Gas Exchange Alveoli are composed mostly of a single thin layer of squamous epithilium (the thinnest cells in the body.) The separate oxygen molecules are diffused through the membrane alveolar walls and into the capillaries, where erythrocytes-red blood cells-eagerly bind the oxygen molecules to their hemoglobin and carry the oxygen to the venules of the pulmonary veins and then into the pulmonary veins, where they enter the heart.
In the Heart As blood enters the left atrium,
the artium fills to its extent. Once it is
completly full the it contracts and forces blood through the bicuspid valve into the Left Ventricle. When the Left Ventricle is filled it contracts, shooting blood through the Aortic-semilunar valve and into the Aorta itself. Through the Body Once the blood is in the aorta it travels into thoracic aorta and then the abdominal aorta before branching off into smaller arteries. One such artery is the right common illiac artery, where blood flowing to the leg is transported. From the common illiac artery it becaomes the external illiac artery, then the femoral artery. The rest of the trip through the leg is relatively quick. The blood flows through the popliteal and anterior tibial arteries and finally arrives in the foot. In the foot blood continues through the dosalis pedis artery and which becomes the much smaller arcuate artery which supplies the toes. In the Toe Once in the little toe, the blood flows through a few arterioles and into the capillaries. In the capillaries the blood flows through the true capillaries and the oxygen is diffused into the cells. The oxygen is utilized by the mitochondria to preform cellular respiration, which produces ATP for the cell's energy and the waste product carbon dioxide. To dispose of the carbon dioxide the cell diffuses it back into the cappilaries which takes the blood to the venules of the dorsal digital veins. Through the Body Part II The de-oxygenated blood enters the dorsal digital veins, near the toes, and then travels upward into the dorsal venous arch of the foot, which feeds the great saphenous vein of the leg, the longest vein in the body. From there it the blood is transported into the external and common illiac veins which enter the Inferior vena cava, which carries the blood back to the heart. Through the Heart Part II The Inferior Vena Cava feeds into the right atrium. When this atrium is full it contracts, sending blood through the tricuspid valve and into the right ventricle. After the right ventricle is full, it contracts, sending blood through the Pulmonary Semi-Lunar Valve and into the Pulmonary artery, which ships blood to the lungs for gas exchange. Gas Exchange Part II The pulmonary artery thins into arterioles, which shoot off into capillaries. These are the same capallaries around the lungs where gas exchange occured earlier, and this time the blood allows it molucule of carbon dioxide to disembark and diffuse into the alveoli where it is sent back through the bronchiole tree. The journey's end... Expiration As the muscles around your rib cage and the diaphragm
relax, the rib cage goes back to its original position decreasing
the volume of the lungs and increasing the pressure inside of the lungs causing the air to be forced out. The carbon dioxided air is shot up through the trachea and the larynx, past the epiglottis, and into the pharynx where it is ushered out via the mouth. Then the carbon dioxide floats around in the air til it can find a plant to turn it back into oxygen to be breathed in by someone else.
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