More Pacemaker Breakthroughs, Heart Valves, and the First ICD

Brian Buntz

February 24, 2016

1 Min Read
More Pacemaker Breakthroughs, Heart Valves, and the First ICD

More Pacemaker Breakthroughs, Heart Valves, and the First ICD

26. Alejandro Zaffaroni (1923-2014)
The Uruguayan-born serial entrepreneur pioneered controlled drug delivery systems modelled after the processes discovered in endocrinology.

27. Earl Bakken (1924-)
Earl Bakken, the co-founder of Medtronic, developed the first battery-operated external pacemaker in the late 1957. An electrical engineer by training, he developed the device after at the behest of open-heart surgery innovator C. Walton Lillehei, MD, whose infant patients temporarily relied on pacemakers that were plugged into outlets. Bakken not only built Medtronic, but also wrote the Medtronic Mission.

28. Michel Mirowski (1924-1990)
Mirowski (pictured above) was instrumental in the development of the first implantable cardioverter-defibrillator in the 1960s after his mentor Harry Heller, MD, died from arrhythmia. The first human implant of the device was in 1980. ICDs have saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

29. Robert S. Ledley (1926-2012)
Ledley invented the whole-body CT (computerized tomographic) diagnostic x-ray scanner. He has been inducted into the U.S. National Inventors Hall of Fame.

30. Albert Starr (1926-)
Heart valve pioneer Starr performed the first mitral valve implant in 1960. Starr worked with Miles Lowell Edwards to develop what would be called the Starr-Edwards valve, which helped lay the groundwork for the development of transcatheter aortic (and mitral) valve replacement technology.

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