Reactions of Hemoglobin and Steady States in the Human Respiratory System: An investigation using Mathematical Models and An Electronic Computer

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The RAND Corporation
Using thermodynamic principles relating to steady state processes, a detailed biophysicochemical model of the human external respiratory subsystem was constructed. Mathematical experiments performed with this model give good agreement with reported physiological data relating to the functioning of this subsystem under normal and some abnormal conditions. Because of the complexity of the model, experiments with it are conducted on a high-speed computer. The model was applied to the representation of the exchanges of respiratory gases and related chemical phenomena occurring between the venous and arterial sides of the total air-blood system. In addition, the model was used to explore the quantitative as well as qualitative significance of biochemical functions that are believed to be important in establishing the characteristics of the system. These functions include the Bohr effects of hemoglobin and various hypotheses of carbamino formation, as well as the dynamic steady-state gradients imposed by the erythrocyte metabolic pump and the disparate concentrations of nondiffusible species operating across the cell membranes. The capacity of mathematical models of this type to incorporate and rigorously interrelate a large number of detailed biochemical reactions so as to yield total subsystem effects that compare well with physiological reality suggest that such models should provide a useful tool for many biological investigations.
respiratory subsystem, biochemical functions, carbomino formation, human respiratory system