Alexis Carrel, a French surgeon educated at the University of Lyons who pioneered a novel way to perform surgery on blood vessels in 1902. To complement this method, which mechanically prevented circulating blood from exposure to anything but the lining of the blood vessel, he developed an exacting protocol for asepsis. In 1914, with the aid of a chemist, Henry B. Dakin, he developed a disinfectant for severely infected wounds, the Carrel-Dakin wound treatment solution.

In 1904, Carrel took a position as assistant in physiology at the University of Chicago, where he applied lessons from his blood–vessel surgery to more difficult surgeries such as kidney transplants in animals. In 1906 he was appointed a member of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (now Rockefeller University) in New York, where he continued to develop techniques for surgery of the heart and blood vessels and organ transplantation. He also made a famous, long-running experiment in tissue culture, in which he kept alive for many years a bit of tissue from an embryonic chick. In 1912 he received the Nobel Prize in honor of his achievements in surgery and cell culture.


Corner, George W. "Carrel, Alexis." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography, vol. 3, Charles Scribner's Sons, . 90-92.

Last modified 27 January 2017