Alveolus Human Anatomy Training Model

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Model Number: VS095780

Brand: Niche Healthcare 


The model shows the branching of bronchioles, respiratory bronchioles, alveolar ducts, alveolar sacs, and alveoli. The alveolar sacs show their cross-sectional structure, and display bronchial arteriovenous, pulmonary arteriovenous, capillary network, pulmonary membrane, smooth muscle, elastic fibres, and reticular fibres.

SKU: NH-39205 Category: Tag:


Categories         Anatomical Model

Subject               Medical Science

Material              Eco-friendly PVC

Application       School/Hospital/Laboratory


The term “alveolus” (plural: alveoli) primarily refers to the tiny air sacs within the lungs where gas exchange occurs. These structures are critical for respiration, allowing oxygen to enter the bloodstream and carbon dioxide to be expelled from the body. Here’s a detailed overview of alveoli:

Anatomy of Alveoli


  • Shape: Alveoli are small, spherical or sac-like structures.
  • Location: They are found at the end of the respiratory tree, branching off from the bronchioles within the lungs.

Alveolar Walls:

  • Type I Alveolar Cells (Pneumocytes): These cells form the majority of the alveolar surface and are thin, allowing for efficient gas exchange.
  • Type II Alveolar Cells (Pneumocytes): These cells are responsible for producing surfactant, a substance that reduces surface tension within the alveoli, preventing them from collapsing.

Surrounding Structures:

  • Capillaries: A dense network of capillaries surrounds each alveolus, facilitating the exchange of gases between the alveoli and the blood.
  • Elastic Fibers: These fibers help maintain the structure of the alveoli and assist in their expansion and contraction during breathing.

Function of Alveoli

Gas Exchange:

Oxygen Intake: When air is inhaled, oxygen passes through the walls of the alveoli and enters the capillaries. Oxygen binds to hemoglobin in red blood cells and is transported throughout the body.

Carbon Dioxide Removal: Carbon dioxide, a waste product of metabolism, moves from the blood into the alveoli and is expelled from the body during exhalation.

Surfactant Production:

Surfactant, produced by Type II alveolar cells, reduces the surface tension of the alveolar fluid. This prevents the alveoli from collapsing and ensures they remain open, facilitating efficient gas exchange.

Clinical Relevance

Respiratory Diseases:

  • Pneumonia: Infection that inflames the alveoli, causing them to fill with fluid or pus, leading to impaired gas exchange.
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): Includes conditions like emphysema, where the alveolar walls are damaged, reducing the surface area for gas exchange.
  • Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS): Severe inflammation and fluid buildup in the alveoli, leading to respiratory failure.

Pulmonary Surfactant Deficiency:

Common in premature infants, leading to Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) where the alveoli collapse due to insufficient surfactant.

Pulmonary Edema:

Accumulation of fluid in the alveoli, often due to heart failure, which impairs gas exchange and can lead to severe respiratory distress.

Importance in Medicine

Diagnostic Imaging:

Chest X-rays and CT scans can visualize the condition of the alveoli and help diagnose diseases like pneumonia and COPD.

Pulmonary Function Tests:

Assess the efficiency of gas exchange and the functional capacity of the alveoli.

Oxygen Therapy:

Used to support patients with impaired alveolar function by increasing the concentration of oxygen in the air they breathe.

Alveolar Macrophages

Role: These immune cells reside in the alveoli and help clear inhaled particles, pathogens, and debris, contributing to lung defence mechanisms.

Understanding the structure and function of alveoli is essential for comprehending how the respiratory system works and for diagnosing and treating various lung conditions.


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