Wright, Basil Martin

SUBJECT AREA: Medical technology
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b. 20 December 1912 Dulwich, London, England
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English physician and research physiologist, inventor of the Wright Respirometer peak-flow meter for measurement of respiratory ventilatory capacity and of "fluid lens" spectacles.
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He qualified at St Bartholomew's Hospital in 1938 and after early hospital posts served in the Army as a specialist in pathology in West Africa and Singapore. In 1947 he joined the Medical Research Council (MRC) and until 1957 he was involved with the Pneumoconiosis Research Unit in investigation of dust inhalation. In 1957 he transferred to the National Institute for Medical Research, to concentrate on instrument development, and in 1969 to the Bioengineering Division of the MRC Clinical Research Centre at Northwick Park Hospital. He was responsible for a number of instrumental developments and inventions in the fields, amongst others, of respiration measurement, blood alcohol levels and variable adjustable spectacle lenses (achieved by altering the curvature of the surface of a thinwalled transparent fluid cell).
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians 1989. Doctor of Medicine, Cambridge, 1969. International Inventors Fair Design Awards and Gold Medal.
Bibliography
1955, "A respiratory anemometer", Journal of Physiology.
1959, with McKerrow, "Maximum forced expiatory flow rate as a measure of respiratory capacity", British Medical Journal.
1978, "Variable focus spectacles", Transactions of the Ophthalmological Society of the
UK.
1986, "Patient-triggered ventilation in the new-born", Lancet.
MG

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

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