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Soft Contact Lenses, Pacemakers, and Heart Valves

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Soft Contact Lenses, Pacemakers, and Heart Valves

Soft Contact Lenses, Pacemakers, and Heart Valves

16. Otto Wichterle (1913-1998)
The Czech chemist invented soft contact lenses.

17-18. Ake Senning (1915-2000) and Rune Elmqvist (1906-1996)
The first implantable pacemaker was developed through collaboration by cardiac surgeon Ake Senning and the doctor and engineer Rune Elmqvist in Sweden. They implanted their first pacemaker in 43-year-old Arne Larsson in 1958; he died at age 86 after using a total 26 pacemakers. An early model is shown above. 

19. Charles Hufnagel (1916-1989)
U.S. surgeon Charles Hufnagel invented the mechanical heart valve in the early 1950s. In 1952, Hufnagel implanted the device in a 30-year-old woman who was able to lead a normal life after the surgery. Although the device proved to be successful in some patients, its design did not allow it to be inserted into the heart.

20. C. Walton Lillehei (1918-1999)
The University of Minnesota surgeon pioneered open-heart surgery and direct pacing of the heart, playing an important role in the creation of Medtronic. Along the way, he created numerous techniques, equipment, and prostheses for cardiothoracic surgery.

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