Molecular Structure of Surfactant: Biochemical Aspects in Newborns
The surfactant-lining alveolar surface is a prerequisite for gas exchange in order to fulfill the energy needs of the living organism. Surfactant is composed of lipids, mainly phospholipids, and four surfactant-associated proteins. It facilitates alveolar increase during inspiration and prevents their collapse at end-expiration. Insufficient amounts of surfactant in premature babies can be successfully treated with surfactant preparations derived from animal lungs. Preliminary studies show that in a near future synthetic surfactants may replace or be an alternative to animal-derived preparations.
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