Alexis Carrel

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Alexis Carrel
BirthplaceSainte-Foy-lès-Lyon, Rhône, France
Known for New techniques in vascular sutures and pioneering work in transplantology and thoracic surgery.

Carrel, Alexis

(kärĕl`, kə–), 1873–1944, American surgeon and experimental biologist, b. near Lyons, France, M.D. Univ. of Lyons, 1900. Coming to the United States in 1905, he joined the staff of the Rockefeller Institute in 1906 and served as a member from 1912 to 1939. For his work in suturing blood vessels, in transfusion, and in transplantation of organs, he received the 1912 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. In World War I he developed, with Henry D. Dakin, a method of treating wounds by irrigation with a sodium-hypochlorite solution. With Charles A. Lindbergh he invented an artificial, or mechanical, heart, by means of which he kept alive a number of different kinds of tissue and organs; he kept tissue from a chicken's heart alive for 32 years. In 1939 he returned to France. He wrote Man the Unknown (1935) and, with Lindbergh, The Culture of Organs (1938).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Carrel, Alexis


Born June 28, 1873, near Lyon; died Nov. 5, 1944, in Paris. French experimental surgeon and pathophysiologist.

In 1896, Carrel graduated from the medical faculty in Lyon. From 1904 he worked at the Hull Physiological Laboratory in Chicago, and from 1906 at the Rockefeller Institute in New York. In 1912 he received the Nobel Prize for working out original methods of suturing blood vessels “end to end,” keeping blood vessels and organs viable in a liquid medium, and treating and healing wounds; for designing a perfusion pump that supplies blood and oxygen to an organ while it is outside the body; and for working out the technique of growing tissue culture.


“Neue Untersuchungen über das selbständige Leben der Gewebe und Organe.” Berliner klinische Wochenschrift, 1913, no. 24, pp. 1097–1101.
The Treatment of Infected Wounds. New York, 1917. (With G. De-helly.)
The Culture of Organs. New York, 1938. (With C. A. Lindbergh.)


Smith, R. B. “Alexis Carrel.” Investigative Urology, 1967, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 102–05.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The triangulation technique of anastomosing blood vessels was such a valuable contribution to vascular surgery that Alexis Carrel was awarded the 1912 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine 'in recognition of his work on vascular suture and the transplantation of blood vessels and organs' (Carrel 1912).
Alexis Carrel developed several rules for successful anastomosis of vessels, whether it was end-to-end joining of vessels, end-to-side joining or side-to-side joining.
Alexis Carrel discovered how to keep tissue alive in vitro.
In the 1930s, Alexis Carrel had been working on developing an artificial heart that would allow living organs to exist outside the body during an operation (Bing 1987).
Alexis Carrel died in 1944 after suffering 2 heart attacks (Warren 1999).
There is no doubt that the medical advances made by Alexis Carrel were phenomenal.
Cusimano R, Cusimano M, Cusimano S 1984 The genius of Alexis Carrel Canadian Medical Association 131 1142-1150
Dutkowski P, de Rougemont O, Clavien PA 2008 Alexis Carrel: Genius, innovator and ideologist American Journal of Transplantation 8 (10) 1998-2003
Dr Alexis Carrel, a Frenchman working for the Rockefeller Institute for Research in New York, was on holiday with his wife in France when war was declared.
Malinin TI 1979 Surgery and Life--The Extraordinary Career of Alexis Carrel New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich First Edition