Skip Navigation Bar

Digital Gallery Browse

Perfusion pump assembly from The Culture of Organs, 1938

This photograph shows a profusion pump developed by aviator Charles Lindbergh and the Nobel Prize-winning French surgeon Alexis Carrel in the 1930s. The pump, or "glass heart," was capable of maintaining organs and tissues outside the body by providing them with a supply of oxygenated blood. By 1935, they had sustained a variety of animal organs—hearts, kidneys, ovaries, spleens—in the germ-free Pyrex glass pump, but they did not use human tissues.

Courtesy National Library of Medicine

Tall, narrow, glass instrument with curved, cylindrical pipes and valves.
  • Topic:

    Organ Transplant
  • Creator:

    Alexis Carrel (1873–1944),
    Charles Lindbergh (1902–1974)