Einthoven, Willem

Einthoven, Willem
SUBJECT AREA: Medical technology
b. 21 May 1860 Semarang, Java
d. 28 September 1927 Leiden, the Netherlands
Dutch physiologist, inventor of the string galvanometer and discoverer of the electrocardiogram (ECG).
As a medical student in Utrecht from 1879 Einthoven published an account of pronation and supination of the arm (following his own injury) as well as a paper on stereoscopy through colour differentiation. Soon after graduating in July 1885, he was appointed Professor of Physiology at Leiden.
In 1895, while involved in the study of the electric action potentials of the heart, he developed the sensitive string galvanometer, and in 1896 he was able to register the electrocardiograms of animals and humans, relating them to the heart sounds. Developing this work, he not only established the detailed geometry of the leads for these recordings, but was able to build up an insight into their variations in different forms of heart disease. In 1924 he further investigated the action currents of the sympathetic nervous system.
Principal Honours and Distinctions
Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology 1924.
1895, "Uber die form des menschlichen Elektrocardiogramms", Pflügers Archiv.
Further Reading
de Waart, 1957, Einthoven, Haarlem (complete list of works).

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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