Carrel, Alexis


Alexis Carrel (1873–1944) was a French surgeon who successfully joined blood vessels by end‐to‐end anastomosis with triangulation sutures, thereby permitting the rapid re‐establishment of blood circulation to a transplanted organ. The successful transplantation of organs was realised only after the discovery, many years later, of powerful immunosuppressant drugs. Carrel's other scientific contributions included the invention, with Charles Lindberg, of a perfusion pump to facilitate organ transplantation, wound antisepsis and the culture of organs and cells. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine for his successful procedures of vascular suturing and anastomosis techniques.

Keywords: organ transplantation; tissue culture; Carrel flask; triangulation sutures; end‐to‐end anastomosis; perfusion pump

Figure 1.

Alexis Carrel. Photograph from the private collection of Julius M. Cruse, MD, PhD. © Julius M. Cruse.


Further Reading

Carrel A (1902) La technique operatoire des anastomoses vasculaires et la transplantation des viscères. Lyon Médecine 98: 859–864.

Carrel A (1907) The surgery of blood vessels. Johns Hopkins Hospital Bulletin 18: 18–28.

Carrel A (1908a) Results of the transplantation of blood vessels, organs and limbs. Journal of the American Medical Association 51: 1662–1667.

Carrel A (1908b) Transplantation in mass of the kidneys. Journal of Experimental Medicine 10: 98–140.

Carrel A (1910) Latent life of arteries. Journal of Experimental Medicine 12: 460–486.

Carrel A (1911) Rejuvenation of cultures of tissues. Journal of the American Medical Association 57: 1611.

Carrel A (1915) Traitement abortif de l'infection des plaies. Bulletin de l'Académie de Médecine 74: 361–368.

Carrel A and Burrows MT (1910) Cultures de sarcome en dehors de l'organisme. Comptes Rendus des Séances et Mémoires de la Société de Biologie 69: 332–334.

Fox DM, Meldrum M and Rezak I (eds) (1990) Nobel Laureates in Medicine or Physiology. New York: Garland.

Garrison FH (1929) An Introduction to the History of Medicine. Philadelphia: WB Saunders.

Lyons AS and Petrucelli RJ II (1987) Medicine: An Illustrated History. New York: Harry N Abrams.

Witkowski SA (1980) Dr Carrel's immortal cells. Medical History 24: 129–142.

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How to Cite close
Cruse, Julius M, and Lewis, Robert E(May 2014) Carrel, Alexis. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0002384.pub2]