Copyright ã 2007 Michael H. Mitchell  All Rights Reserved
(Prpared slides with written permission from 
Carolina Biological Supply Co, Burlington, N. C. and 
Wards Scientific, Rochester, New York)

Pulmonary Alveoli and Respiratory Membrane - 400x

The respiratory membrane is quite thin in order to facilitate gas exchange. It
is lined on both sided by simple squamous epithelium. Anything that
widens the distance between the capillaries within the membrane and the
alveolar space reduces the efficiency of the diffusion of oxygen in and
carbon dioxide out (inflammation, scaring, mucus, smoking, etc.).