1950 – 1959

Milestones in the Development and Clinical Applications of Artificial Organ Technologies & Transplantation


Delgado, Heath , Mickle, Olds, Milner, Spiegel, and Wycis studied psychological effects of chronic brain stimulation in humans and animals

Grifols-Lucas established plasma collection on a routine basis

Allis-Chalmers and Westinghouse and then the Baxter Corporation manufactured the first widely used commercial dialyzing machine-the Baxter/Travenol recirculating U-200 twin-coil dialyzer


Clark and Associates advocated the dispersion of oxygen through a sintered glass filter to transmit small bubbles into venous blood


Dogliotti and Constantini first applied a pump oxygenator in a human, bypassing the right heart during removal of a mediastinal tumor

Dennis performed the first clinical application of total cardiopulmonary bypass for the repair of an ostium primum defect in a child but the patient died during the procedure. He developed the rotating screen oxygenator

McKee and Farrar performed the first successful total hip replacement

Giaimo described first patent with neuroprostheses for the treatment of dropped foot, partially denervated muscle and heel switch

Dubost replaced the abdominal aorta with an aortic homograph


Gollan described the first concentric type bubble oxygenator that reduced the amount of priming blood and minimized the heat loss

Adams and Associates performed the first successful plasmapheresis on a patient with multiple myeloma

The first mechanical heart valve (ball type) developed by Hufnagel was  implanted in a 30-year-old woman

Voorhees and Blakemore first succeeded in bridging arterial prostheses in the abdominal aorta of dogs using porous Vinyon “N” cloth tubes

Henry Opitek, suffering from shortness of breath, was treated with the Dodrill-GMR heart machine, considered to be the first operational mechanical heart used while performing heart surgery at Harper University Hospital at Wayne State University

Teschan used the Kolff-Brigham artificial kidney in the US Army’s 11th field hospital in the Korean War


Gibbon performed the first successful open heart surgical procedure with heart lung bypass repairing a large septal defect in an 18-year-old girl with his stationary screen oxygenator and three DeBakey roller pumps

Dempster may have been the first to use radiation in organ transplant recipients; also treated dog homograft recipients with cortisone known to prolong survival of skin homografts in rodents

Billingham, Brent, and Medawar demonstrated that chimerism induced in neonatal mice by lymphoid cell inocula allows acceptance of donor strains of skin grafts

Inouye and Engleberg developed the pressure cooker (coil artificial kidney placed in Presto pressure cooker) to control the temperature


Salisbury conceived the formation of the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs (ASAIO)

Crafoord and Senning performed the first open-heart procedure in Europe using their rotating cylinder oxygenator

Mustard and Associates used monkey lungs as an oxygenator for human cardiopulmonary bypass without success

DeBakey succeeded in resecting aneurysm of distal aortic arch and  replacing it with a polyester (Dacron) graft

Murray performed the first successful human transplant using the patient’s identical twin as the donor

Black, Hitchings, and Elion developed immunosuppressive agents for which  they were awarded a Nobel Prize in 1988

Demikhov grafted a dog’s head and upper body including the front legs onto another dog

Lillehei performed intra-cardiac surgery using cross circulation from a healthy donor


Lillehei and Associates first successfully closed ventricular septal defects under cross circulation in eight patients with two deaths

DeWall and Lillehei introduced their helical reservoir bubble oxygenator which brought a break-through in open-heart surgery, permitting total  cardiopulmonary bypass using a heart-lung machine

Kolff and Belzer oxygenated blood through a polyethylene membrane

First ASAIO meeting was held in Atlantic City, New Jersey

Main and Prehn showed that weakening the immune system of adult mice by radiation allowed them to induce chimerism by inoculating bone marrow cells

Kolff and Associates developed the disposable twin-coil dialyzer


Manabe performed the first open-heart surgery in Japan using the bubble oxygenator

Clowes, Hopkins, and Neville devised a plate-type membrane oxygenator for clinical use

Kay and Cross refined the disk (film) oxygenator which could oxygenate up to 4,000 ml of venous blood and used it successfully in open-heart surgery; it was produced by Pemco Onc.

Rygg and Kyvsgaar devised a disposable plastic bag oxygenator

Kolff and Effler (coil-type using polyethylene membranes) and Clowes (plate type) introduced clinically membrane oxygenators

Hori clinically used a biological artificial liver using cross hetero-hemodialysis between man and animal for the temporary substitution of liver function

Travenol sells the first commercially available disposable dialyzer, the Travenol U200A twin coil (Kolff’s orange juice can kidney) at a price of $59.00


Lillihei with Bakken created the first transistorized implantable cardiac pacemaker

Akutsu and Kolff implanted a total artificial heart into a dog that survived 90 minutes

Association for Artificial Internal Organs was founded in Japan

Billingham and Brent and Simonsen independently first reported on graft- versus-host disease and that lymphocytes must be mobile

Dewall and Lillehei developed a helix reservoir disposable bubble oxygenator which makes cardiopulmonary bypass safe and reliable


Senning implanted the first heart pacemaker

Westin and Associates devised rotating spiral oxygenators used for the perfusion of small organs

Thomas pioneered the development of silicone rubber membranes, initially supported on a fine nylon screen

Dausset discovered the first human leukocyte antigen (HLA)

Zoll reported on first prototype of a cardiac pacemaker


Liotta described the implantation of three types of orthotopic total artificial hearts in dogs using different sources of energy: an implantable rotating pump with an external electric motor, an implantable electric motor, and a pneumatic pump


Merril reported on human kidney transplantation where the genetic barrier had been breached with lethal total body irradiation

Milestones Through 1900

Milestones 1900 - 1949

Milestones 1950 - 1959

Milestones 1960 - 1969

Milestones 1970 - 1979

Milestones 1980 - 1999

Milestones 2000 - present