Cells/tissues in gas exchange system

A short description of the function of cartilage, smooth muscle, goblet cells, elastic fibres, ciliated cells and squamous epithelium in the gas exchange system.

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  • Created by: Joanne
  • Created on: 03-10-12 21:57


  • provides strength to trachea and bronchus
  • holds open the airways so there is little resistance to air flow
  • found in: trachea, bronchus
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Smooth muscle

  • contracts to narrow the airways
  • found in: trachea, bronchus, bronchiole
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Goblet cells

  • secrete mucus
  • mucus is sticky and collects particles of dust, spores and bacteria
  • found in: trachea, bronchus, bronchiole (a few)
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Elastic fibres

  • stretch when breathing in and filling the lungs
  • recoil when breathing out to help force air out of the lungs
  • found in: trachea, bronchus, bronchiole, alveolus
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Ciliated cells

  • move mucus up the airways towards the mouth
  • found in: trachea, bronchus, bronchiole
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Squamous epithelium

  • gives a short diffusion pathway for oxygen and carbon dioxide in the alveoli
  • found in: alveolus
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