Acta Biotheoretica 64 (2):161-196 (2016)

In this paper two models for movement of respiratory gases in the insect trachea are presented. One model considers the tracheal system as a single flexible compartment while the other model considers the trachea as a single flexible compartment with gas exchange. This work represents an extension of Ben-Tal’s work on compartmental gas exchange in human lungs and is applied to the insect tracheal system. The purpose of the work is to study nonlinear phenomena seen in the insect respiratory system. It is assumed that the flow inside the trachea is laminar, and that the air inside the chamber behaves as an ideal gas. Further, with the isothermal assumption, the expressions for the tracheal partial pressures of oxygen and carbon dioxide, rate of volume change, and the rates of change of oxygen concentration and carbon dioxide concentration are derived. The effects of some flow parameters such as diffusion capacities, reaction rates and air concentrations on net flow are studied. Numerical simulations of the tracheal flow characteristics are performed. The models developed provide a mathematical framework to further investigate gas exchange in insects.
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DOI 10.1007/s10441-016-9278-z
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