Important Questions for Class 11 Chapter 17 - Breathing and Exchange of Gases

Important questions based on NCERT syllabus for Chapter 17 - Breathing and Exchange of Gases:

Question-1: Define vital capacity. What is its significance?

Solution: Vital capacity is defined as the maximum volume of air a person can breathe in after a forced expiration or the maximum volume of air a person can breathe out after a forced inspiration. It represents the maximum amount of air one can renew in the respiratory system in a single respiration. Thus, greater the vital capacity more is the energy available to the body.

Question-2: Explain the process of inspiration under normal conditions.

Solution: Inspiration is a process by which fresh air enters the lungs. The diaphragm, intercostal muscles and abdominal muscles play an important role. The muscles of the diaphragm and external intercostal muscles are principle muscles of inspiration. Volume of thoracic cavity increases by contraction of diaphragm and external intercostal muscles. During inspiration, relaxation of abdominal muscles also occurs which allows compression of the abdominal organs by diaphragm. Thus, overall volume of the thoracic cavity increases and as a result, there is a decrease of the air pressure in the lungs. The greater pressure outside the body now causes air to flow rapidly into the lungs. The sequence of air flow is.

Question-3: Define oxygen dissociation curve. Can you suggest any reason for its sigmoidal pattern?

Solution: The relationship between the partial pressure of oxygen (pO2) and percentage saturation of the haemoglobin with oxygen (O2)is graphically illustrated by a curve called oxygen haemoglobin dissociation curve (also called oxygen dissociation curve).
The sigmoidal pattern of oxygen haemoglobin dissociation curve is the result of two properties which play significant role in the transport of oxygen. These two properties are:
(i) Minimal loss of oxygen from haemoglobin occurs above p02 of 70-80 mm Hg despite significant changes in tension of oxygen beyond this. This is depicted by relatively flat portion of the curve.
(ii)Any further decline in p02 from 40 mm Hg causes a disproportionately greater release of oxygen from the haemoglobin. It results in the steeper portion of the curve and causes the curve to be sigmoid.