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By Stewart W. Clarke

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Extra resources for Aerosols and the Lung. Clinical and Experimental Aspects

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T h e efferent pathway starts in the ganglia which are mainly located external to the smooth muscle and cartilage as well as in the submucosa, and ends in the smooth muscle and submucosal glands. Ultrastructural studies have confirmed the presence of sensory nerve endings in the h u m a n tracheal epithelium, which are located in the basal portion of the ciliated and mucous cells ( R h o d i n , 1966). T h e role of intraepithelial nerves is unclear. It is apparent from h u m a n organ culture studies that acetylcholine causes discharge of submucosal glands but has no effect on the secretory cells of the surface epithelium (Sturgess and Reid, 1972).

1978) found that ciliated cells of the cat's 3 35 Tracheobronchial secretion 29 trachea incorporated ( H ) glucose and most of it was located in the luminal border of the cell. W h e t h e r this material represents the glycocalix or the liquid hypophase is not clear. T h e n u m e r o u s microvilli present in the ciliated cells may be responsible for ion and water absorption from the hypophase. T h e epiphase or mucus layer has been identified not only in rat and rabbit but also in h u m a n airways (Sturgess, 1977).

Different patterns of non-Newtonian behaviour can be identified: pseudoplastic, dilatant and plastic. Airway mucus is a pseudoplastic liquid: its viscosity decreases with increasing shear rate (shear thinning). A t intermediate shear rates ( < 1 0 s ) it may show thyxotropic behaviour—the decrease in viscosity is partly recovered after removal of the stress. The apparent viscosity is the ratio of the total shear stress to total shear rate at a given value of shear rate. A n ideal solid can be deformed when a force is applied and stores energy returning to its original shape when the force is removed.

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