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History of Respiratory Mechanics

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Abstract

The sections in this article are:

1 Respiratory Mechanics from Ancient Times Through the Seventeenth Century
2 Respiratory Muscles and their Action
3 Lung Elasticity and Pleural Pressure
4 Pressure‐Volume Relationships
5 Integrated View of Respiratory Mechanics
6 Instrumentation
7 Literature of Respiratory Mechanics
8 Conclusion
Figure 1. Figure 1.

Plate from John Mayow's 1674 MedicoPhysical Works (ref. , p. 186–187) showing his bellows model of the chest and lungs.

Figure 2. Figure 2.

Guillaume Benjamin Amand Duchenne de Boulogne (1806–1875). Clinician and investigator, he used transcutaneous electrical stimulation in the diagnosis and treatment of disease and for elucidation of the physiological action of individual muscles and muscle groups, including those involved in respiration.

Photographie Félix Nadar. (C). Arch. Phot. Paris—Paris/Spalden. Courtesy of Pierre Dejours
Figure 3. Figure 3.

Sir Arthur Keith (1866–1955). An anatomist whose careful observations and logical, imaginative mind produced a qualitative but accurate and comprehensive description of the action of the respiratory muscles.

Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine
Figure 4. Figure 4.

Karl Wirz (1896–1978). His career as a physiologist was a brief but brilliant 2 years as a fellow at Rohrer's laboratory in Basel. Wirz subsequently completed his clinical training and took up general practice in Basel. Portrait excerpted from a group photograph taken shortly after his fellowship in physiology.

Courtesy of Mrs. Wirz and Professor H. Bachofen
Figure 5. Figure 5.

Kurt von Neergaard (1887–1947). He made important studies of lung elasticity and flow resistance with Wirz. Independently he published a classic paper on surface forces in the lung. Like Wirz, von Neergaard spent only a relatively brief period in physiology and devoted his later life to clinical practice at the Institute of Physical Therapy in Zurich.

Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine
Figure 6. Figure 6.

Wallace Osgood Fenn (1893–1971). Professor of physiology at the University of Rochester, he was an outstanding leader in the development, clarification, and application of principles of respiratory mechanics. One of the most versatile and widely respected physiologists of this century, Fenn had previously made important contributions to the physiology of muscle and electrolyte exchange. He also provided wise and dedicated leadership to such organizations as the American Physiological Society, the American Institute of Biological Science, and the International Union of Physiological Sciences.

Photograph by M. Dvorak


Figure 1.

Plate from John Mayow's 1674 MedicoPhysical Works (ref. , p. 186–187) showing his bellows model of the chest and lungs.



Figure 2.

Guillaume Benjamin Amand Duchenne de Boulogne (1806–1875). Clinician and investigator, he used transcutaneous electrical stimulation in the diagnosis and treatment of disease and for elucidation of the physiological action of individual muscles and muscle groups, including those involved in respiration.

Photographie Félix Nadar. (C). Arch. Phot. Paris—Paris/Spalden. Courtesy of Pierre Dejours


Figure 3.

Sir Arthur Keith (1866–1955). An anatomist whose careful observations and logical, imaginative mind produced a qualitative but accurate and comprehensive description of the action of the respiratory muscles.

Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine


Figure 4.

Karl Wirz (1896–1978). His career as a physiologist was a brief but brilliant 2 years as a fellow at Rohrer's laboratory in Basel. Wirz subsequently completed his clinical training and took up general practice in Basel. Portrait excerpted from a group photograph taken shortly after his fellowship in physiology.

Courtesy of Mrs. Wirz and Professor H. Bachofen


Figure 5.

Kurt von Neergaard (1887–1947). He made important studies of lung elasticity and flow resistance with Wirz. Independently he published a classic paper on surface forces in the lung. Like Wirz, von Neergaard spent only a relatively brief period in physiology and devoted his later life to clinical practice at the Institute of Physical Therapy in Zurich.

Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine


Figure 6.

Wallace Osgood Fenn (1893–1971). Professor of physiology at the University of Rochester, he was an outstanding leader in the development, clarification, and application of principles of respiratory mechanics. One of the most versatile and widely respected physiologists of this century, Fenn had previously made important contributions to the physiology of muscle and electrolyte exchange. He also provided wise and dedicated leadership to such organizations as the American Physiological Society, the American Institute of Biological Science, and the International Union of Physiological Sciences.

Photograph by M. Dvorak
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How to Cite

Arthur B. Otis. History of Respiratory Mechanics. Compr Physiol 2011, Supplement 12: Handbook of Physiology, The Respiratory System, Mechanics of Breathing: 1-12. First published in print 1986. doi: 10.1002/cphy.cp030301