Date of Award

Spring 1964

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Horgan, J. D.

Second Advisor

Lange, R. L.

Third Advisor

Larks, S. D.


The reason for making a simulation of this type is to try to unify the available knowledge on the structure and function of the physiological system under study. It is hoped that by bringing into focus the important parameters and interrelationships of the system the simulation will serve to direct the course of future experimentation. Interest in this project was created by the work of Horgan and Lang (1) (2) who have produced a simulation of the chemical control aspects of the human respiratory system. Their treatment of the problem uses ventilation rates, which is a time averaged measure of lung volume exchanges, as a basic variable. With respect to their work, the purpose of this investigation would be twofold. First, it would enable their model to be tested on an instantaneous or discrete breath by breath basis. Second, it would introduce mechanical parameters into their model and thereby bring together the chemical and mechanical dynamics to produce a more realistic simulation. This investigation also has a purpose in its own right. In the medical literature of past and present, there are numerous accounts dealing either with the measurement of a specific physical parameter or the qualitative description of a theory of operation. Unfortunately, much less has been accomplished in assessing a parameter's influence on the system of which it is a part. It is of great importance to know how the operation of a system as a whole is affected by a change in one of its parameters. In order to investigate these relationships, the system, which is composed of various parts, must be studied as a whole. In the light of this, the purpose of this investigation can be restated as the production of a mathematical simulation of the mechanics of the human respiratory system based not only on the present knowledge of the various respiratory structures but also on the available knowledge of structure interrelationships.



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