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    The study of the structural basis of gas exchange function in the lung depends on the availability of quantitative information that concerns the structures establishing contact between the air in the alveoli and the blood in the alveolar capillaries, which can be entered into physiological equations for predicting oxygen uptake. This information is provided by morphometric studies involving stereological methods and allows estimates of the pulmonary diffusing capacity of the human lung that agree, in experimental studies, with the maximal oxygen consumption. The basis for this "machine lung" structure lies in the complex design of the cells building an extensive air-blood barrier with minimal cell mass.

    Citation

    Ewald R Weibel. Lung morphometry: the link between structure and function. Cell and tissue research. 2017 Mar;367(3):413-426

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    PMID: 27981379

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