Medical Background

Chronic lung disease

Chronic lung diseases such as Bronchitis, COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or fibrosis or conditions with impaired lung function such as trauma, sepsis, or cystic fibrosis are among the most serious health problems. Lung diseases are responsible for about one-sixth of all deaths worldwide, alone 600.000 people per year in the EU. Thus, they are not only a serious human burden but with - conservatively estimated - 380 billion Euro total cost per year they are also a serious socio-economic burden (Article Lung and Health in Europe). Today it is proven that the lung epithelium which acts as a barrier between air and tissue/blood has a significant role in the pathogenesis of many chronic pulmonary diseases ... [more]

Sensors for lung

One intrinsic problem in the study of pathogenetic mechanisms of lung diseases is the close anatomical and functional integration within a dichotomously separated fractal tree. With 23 branches from the trachea to the alveoli, the latter have a diameter of only about 50-200μm, which is less than a human hair. Therefore, the direct instrumental access with sensors via the airways is not possible ... [more]

Lung function

The lung is responsible for the gas exchange: oxygen is taken from the air, carbon dioxide is discharged from the blood. The lung divides from the trachea 23 times down to the smallest sub-units, the approximately 300 million alveoli.

3D illustration of lung
3D illustration of lung

Author: Andreas Heinemann, (Zeppelinzentrum Karlsruhe, Germany)
Original file hier
License: GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0  or CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons