Fundamental Respiratory Mechanics
Of all the essential elements needed to support life, oxygen is the most vital. It is the primary function of the respiratory system to provide a constant supply of it to the body. The act of breathing air in and out of the lungs is basically a mechanical process, relying on changes in pressure and volume. The mechanical properties of the structural elements involved will invariably influence the efficiency of the breathing process or the comfort associated with it.
As a material, the lung tissue possesses complex characteristics which can be quantitatively assessed. The techniques used to describe the mechanical function of the lungs in terms of relevant parameters employ notions of physiology and principles of physics which are combined into mathematical equations or models.