Asked by: Euquerio Iriburieta
medical health lung and respiratory health

What is surfactant in respiratory system?

Last Updated: 1st March, 2020

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Surfactant: A fluid secreted by the cells of the alveoli (the tiny air sacs in the lungs) that serves to reduce the surface tension of pulmonary fluids; surfactant contributes to the elastic properties of pulmonary tissue, preventing the alveoli from collapsing.

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Similarly, you may ask, what is the purpose of surfactant in the respiratory system?

Introduction. Pulmonary surfactant is a mixture of lipids and proteins which is secreted into the alveolar space by epithelial type II cells. The main function of surfactant is to lower the surface tension at the air/liquid interface within the alveoli of the lung.

Furthermore, what is surfactant and how does it work? Surfactants are compounds that lower the surface tension (or interfacial tension) between two liquids, between a gas and a liquid, or between a liquid and a solid. Surfactants may act as detergents, wetting agents, emulsifiers, foaming agents, and dispersants.

Likewise, people ask, how surfactant works in the lungs?

Pulmonary surfactant is produced by cells within the lungs and decreases surface tension by breaking bonds between water molecules. Therefore, pulmonary surfactant allows the lungs to expand so we can breathe.

What is the main active ingredient in lung surfactants?

dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine

Related Question Answers

Jenara Falzone

Professional

How are surfactants classified?

Surfactants are typically classified based on their polar head as the hydrophobic tails are often similar. If the head group has no charge, the surfactant is called non-ionic. If the head group has negative or positive charge, it is called anionic or cationic, respectively.

Ce Bhrighde

Professional

What would happen without surfactant?

Surfactant dysfunction is a lung disorder that causes breathing problems. Without normal surfactant, the tissue surrounding the air sacs in the lungs (the alveoli) sticks together (because of a force called surface tension) after exhalation, causing the alveoli to collapse.

Victoriano Ayesta

Professional

How is surfactant produced?

The pulmonary surfactant is produced by the alveolar type-II (AT-II) cells of the lungs. It is essential for efficient exchange of gases and for maintaining the structural integrity of alveoli. Surfactant is a secretory product, composed of lipids and proteins.

Shuhua Kitay

Explainer

What creates surfactant?

Pulmonary surfactant is a complex mixture of phospholipids (PL) and proteins (SP) that reduce surface tension at the air-liquid interface of the alveolus. It is made up of about 70% to 80% PL, mainly dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC), 10% SP-A, B, C and D, and 10% neutral lipids, mainly cholesterol.

Teodula Lenz

Explainer

When did surfactant become available?

Pulmonary surfactant was discovered in the 1950s and a manufactured version was approved for medical use in the United States in 1990. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the safest and most effective medicines needed in a health system.

Anxel Doxandabaratz

Explainer

Where is surfactant?

Pulmonary surfactant is a complex and highly surface active material composed of lipids and proteins which is found in the fluid lining the alveolar surface of the lungs.

Ziara Knoppe

Pundit

Gerad Ujjaval

Pundit

What is the breathing process?

The process of breathing (respiration) is divided into two distinct phases, inspiration (inhalation) and expiration (exhalation). During inspiration, the diaphragm contracts and pulls downward while the muscles between the ribs contract and pull upward.

Khadime Drott

Pundit

Do adults have surfactant?

Pulmonary surfactant is a complex mixture of lipids and protein, which works principally to lower the surface tension of the air liquid interface within the airways and reduce the work of breathing. Surfactant deficiency in adults with acute respiratory distress syndrome has long been recognized.

Virgiliu Bahusov

Pundit

What is newborn surfactant?

Surfactant is a substance that allows the alveoli to remain open, making gas exchange easier. Babies born without enough surfactant are said to have respiratory distress syndrome or RDS.

Vidina Calderin

Pundit

What is lung surface tension?

Surface Tension in the Lung
Surface tension is the force exerted by water molecules on the surface of the lung tissue as those water molecules pull together. As the air inside the lungs is moist, there is considerable surface tension within the tissue of the lungs.

Gloria Arrom

Teacher

How does surfactant keep alveoli dry?

Pulmonary surfactant would make a strong detergent because it strongly decreases surface tension! Thus, the presence of surfactant prevents the alveoli from collapsing under the normal surface tension exerted by the aqueous fluid lining the alveolar surfaces.

Firmo Nagls

Teacher

What is static compliance?

In clinical practice it is separated into two different measurements, static compliance and dynamic compliance. Static lung compliance is the change in volume for any given applied pressure. Dynamic lung compliance is the compliance of the lung at any given time during actual movement of air.

Idali Ryskamp

Teacher

What is atelectasis in the lungs?

Atelectasis (at-uh-LEK-tuh-sis) is a complete or partial collapse of the entire lung or area (lobe) of the lung. It occurs when the tiny air sacs (alveoli) within the lung become deflated or possibly filled with alveolar fluid. Atelectasis is one of the most common breathing (respiratory) complications after surgery.

Afaf Heriz

Teacher

What is alveoli science?

Alveoli are tiny sacs within our lungs that allow oxygen and carbon dioxide to move between the lungs and bloodstream. Learn more about how they function and quiz your knowledge at the end.

Oumayma Milton

Reviewer

How does surfactant prevent pulmonary edema?

Alveolar edema inactivates surfactant, and surfactant depletion causes edema by reducing lung interstitial pressure (Pis). We conclude that surfactant normalizes surface tension and decreases transcapillary hydrostatic forces in this lung injury model, thereby reducing edema formation and improving gas exchange.

Gurdeep Garrigosa

Reviewer

How do surfactants increase solubility?

Surfactants are wetting agents composed of hydrophilic and oleophilic groups that can reduce the surface tension of a liquid and reduce the interfacial tension between two liquids. It is soluble in oil because of the C—H chains and soluble in water because of polar groups (—COOH, —OH).

Circe Ulatowski

Reviewer

Is baking soda a surfactant?

The surfactants, then, bind with the water on one side, and are completely removed with the wash water. Many builders are water softeners. Water softeners such as borax, washing soda (sodium carbonate) or baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) are commonly used in detergents.

Gerai Arroyo

Reviewer

What are some examples of a surfactant?

Here are some common examples of surfactants:
  • Soaps (free fatty acid salts)
  • Fatty acid sulfonates (the most common of which is sodium laryl sulfate, or SLS)
  • Ethoxylated compounds, such as ethoxylated propylene glycol.
  • Lecithin.
  • Polygluconates, basically a glorified name for short-chain starches.