Mayo-Gibbon Heart-Lung Machine

The invention of the heart-lung machine is one of the most significant contributions in the history of cardiac surgery. These machines are used to temporarily replace the function of the heart and lungs, supporting the circulation of blood through the body. The natural heart is by-passed and the heart-lung machine takes over for the patients organs.
The Mayo-Gibbon heart-lung machine was patterned after the Gibbon heart-lung machine designed by John Gibbon, M.D. in 1949. Four years later John Kirklin and his associates at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota began using and improving upon a Gibbon-type heart-lung machine.
In the past three decades, the application of heart-lung machines has been greatly expanded not only for cardiopulmonary bypass during open-heart surgery but also for long-term pulmonary or cardiopulmonary support, called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) or precutaneous cardiopulmonary support (PCPS).
Currently not on view
Object Name
heart-lung machine
date made
ca 1957
Physical Description
chromium plate (overall material)
stainless steel (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
plexiglass (overall material)
teflon (overall material)
overall: 182 cm x 77 cm x 96 cm; 71 5/8 in x 30 5/16 in x 37 13/16 in
part 6: 47 cm x 7 cm x 15.6 cm; 18 1/2 in x 2 3/4 in x 6 1/8 in
place made
United States: Minnesota, Rochester
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Artificial Organs
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Health & Medicine
Artificial Hearts
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Edwards Lifesciences, LLC
Related Publication
Shumacker, Harris B.. The Evolution of Cardiac Surgery
Fye, W. Bruce. American Cardiology: The History of a Speciality and College
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.