Artificial Kidney, Heart Pioneer Kolff Dies

Dr. Willem Kolff, a pioneer of kidney dialysis, heart-lung machines, and artificial organs, died in Pennsylvania February 11 of natural causes. He was 97.

Dr. Kolff developed an artifical kidney in the 1940s in the Netherlands, but his work at the Cleveland Clinic perfected kidney dialysis. He also worked on a heart-lung machine and an artificial heart that kept a dog alive in 1957.

In 1982, Dr. Kolff was part of the team that developed and implanted the first successful artificial heart in dentist Barney Clark at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. Read more about Dr. Kolff’s life and work in the Salt Lake Tribune.

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