Glenn Allan Millikan Photo

Glenn Allan Millikan

Born: May 23, 1906

Death: Jan 1, 1947

Birthplace: Chicago

Nationality: United States

Glenn Allan Millikan

Date of Birth : May 23, 1906
Date of Death : Jan 1, 1947
Birth Place : Chicago

Glenn Allan Millikan, American physiologist, invented the first practical, portable pulse oximeter in 1940–1942. The Millikan oximeter "is generally acknowledged as the beginning of oximetry in physiology and clinical medicine." The word oximeter was introduced by Millikan. Millikan, son of physicist Robert Andrews Millikan, studied at the Harvard University and the University of Cambridge. During his doctorate studies in Cambridge he built a dual-wavelength colorimeter for blood oxygen level measurements. The Fellowship of Trinity College awarded Millikan a four-year scholarship for this work. The award allowed Millikan to continue research of myoglobin-oxygen reactions in Cambridge until 1937. After the outbreak of World War II Millikan was stranded in the United States. Unable to return to Cambridge, he accepted an unpaid laboratory appointment at the University of Pennsylvania and concentrated on bioluminescence research. Later, he obtained teaching assignments at the University of Pennsylvania and at Harvard.

Also known as

  • Glenn Allen


  • Robert Andrews Millikan
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