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The Making of the Pacemaker

Intrigued by electronics from the time he was a boy, Greatbatch earned a degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University. It was during his time at Cornell that he first became interested in the medical applications of electronic devices. He learned about the problem of heart blocking at Cornell and knew it was fixable in principle, but at the time the vacuum-tube technology was impractical for medical use. By the 1950s he was teaching at the University of Buffalo School of Electrical Engineering and the first silicon transistors had just been invented.While using one of the new $90 transistors on another project Greatbatch discovered by accident, as he describes it, the proper design for a blocking oscillator that he immediately knew would work as a pacemaker. He soon interested Dr. William Chardack, chief of surgery at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Buffalo, in the project, and by 1958 they were conducting animal experiments.Reminiscent of Edison’s many dogged attempts to find the right solution in pursuit of an ingenious idea, “The Making of the Pacemaker” is a human-interest story at its best and also an important firsthand account for the medical archives of an invention that today saves millions of lives.


Author: Wilson Greatbatch
ISBN: 9781573928069
Pages: 260
Format: PDF
Size: 19.83 Mb

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