History of extracorporeal circulation: the invention and modification of blood pumps

J Extra Corpor Technol. 2003 Sep;35(3):184-91.


The first roller pump was patented in 1855 by Porter and Bradley and was hand operated. A modification first named "surgical pump", designed and manufactured by E. E. Allen in 1887, was intended for direct blood transfusion. Truax, who also distributed and promoted the Allen pump with one roller, developed the first double roller pump in 1899. In the following decades, several researchers, including Beck, Van Allen, Bayliss and Müller as well as Henry and Jouvelet, refined the apparatus and recommended the use of roller pumps for blood transfusion and other applications. After further modifications made by DeBakey in 1934, and application of this pump in one of the first heart-lung machines constructed by Gibbon, DeBakey's name became inseparably attached to this type of pump. For perfusion experiments, an electrically powered roller pump was first used by Fleisch in 1935. Today, the roller pump is the most frequently used blood pump for cardiopulmonary bypass worldwide, having prevailed against the early pulsatile tube compression pumps and ventricular pumps. In recent years, centrifugal pumps have increasingly competed with roller pumps as systemic blood pumps for cardiopulmonary bypass and have become the preferred arterial pump in a variety of centers. Application of mechanical cardiac assistance has evolved from nonpulsatile roller pump support, followed by an era of pulsatile ventricular pumps to the rediscovery of the nonpulsatile flow mode with modern axial flow pumps.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / history
  • Blood Transfusion / instrumentation
  • Extracorporeal Circulation / history*
  • Extracorporeal Circulation / instrumentation
  • Extracorporeal Circulation / methods
  • Germany
  • Heart-Lung Machine / history*
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Infusion Pumps / history