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Leland C. Clark Archives

Identifier: WC-08-001

Scope and Content

The archives of Leland C. Clark contain his correspondence, certificates and diplomas, photographs, manuscripts, notes, awards, instruments, and memorabilia.


  • 1932-2005


Language of Materials

The records are in English

Biography of Leland C. Clark, PhD

Leland Clark was one of the century's most prolific biomedical inventors and researchers, and is recognized for pioneering several medical milestones. He is credited with saving thousands of lives and advancing the technology of modern medicine. Known as the "Father of Biosensors" as well as the "Edison of Medicine", he is perhaps best known for inventing the Clark oxygen electrode, which measures blood oxygen levels. Hailed by many as the one of the most revolutionary devices in medicine of the past 50 years, it has saved the sight of thousands, if not millions of premature babies who would have gone blind from excess oxygen while being treated for respiratory distress syndrome. This biosensor is also used to measure oxygen levels in rivers and oceans to protect wildlife populations, helping to preserve aquatic animals and plants. As the primary sensor in the heart-lung machine, present in every hospital operating room in the country, the oxygen electrode enables doctors to perform 750,000 open-heart surgeries every year. Clark and colleagues at UC built the first heart-lung machine that could be dismantled and sterilized. This advancement led to the creation, in Cincinnati, of one of the first hospital intensive care units in the world. Clark's invention of the glucose sensor, used daily by diabetics worldwide, enables millions of people to live normal lives, remain healthy, and detect unexpected problems. He also pioneered research in biomedical applications of perfluorocarbons. He developed a fluorocarbon-based liquid that could be breathed successfully by mice in place of air, and made substantial strides in achieving his lifelong goal of developing artificial blood, which many of his scientific heirs continue to pursue.

He published more than 400 scientific papers, is credited with over 80 inventions, and secured numerous U.S. and foreign patents. Among his many honors and awards he was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the Engineering and Science Hall of Fame. He was given the Horace Mann Award for Service to Humanity and in 2005 shortly before his death the NAE awarded him the prestigious Russ Prize.


120 Linear Feet


This collection contains the professional papers, notes, and memorabilia of Dr. Leland C. Clark.

Statement of Arrangement

The collection has a general arrangement of broad topics.

Physical Location

Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions, University of Cincinnati Libraries

Guide to the Leland C. Clark Archives
Edited Full Draft
Finding aid prepared by Doris Haag
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the University of Cincinnati, Health Sciences Library, Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions Repository

Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library
231 Albert Sabin Way
Cincinnati Ohio 45267-0574