The History of Experimental Hand Transplantation in Primates

  • Rollin K. Daniel
  • Kevin A. Brenner


The senior Author’s (Rollin K. Daniel) interest in experimental hand transplantation evolved from the development of free tissue transfers. In 1971, microvascular surgery was struggling with development of sutures capable of sewing 1-mm blood vessels. Once this was solved, it became possible to replant fingers, but elective reconstructive procedures posed new ethical dilemmas. Attempts at replantation surgery were easily justified, but was it ethical to try free flaps when viable alternatives existed including cross-leg and tube flaps? Experimental studies in animals with similar cutaneous blood supply provided a rational scientific basis to begin clinical trials in very select cases. Once initial clinical success of free-flap transfers was achieved by Daniel and Taylor in 1973 [1], a broad range of tissue transfers began. Perhaps the most pertinent were the toe-to-hand transfers, as they represented composite tissue transfers with excellent restoration of function and sensation.


Major Histocompatibility Complex Class Rejection Episode Free Tissue Transfer Composite Tissue Replantation Surgery 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rollin K. Daniel
    • 1
  • Kevin A. Brenner
    • 2
  1. 1.Plastic Surgery UnitUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA
  2. 2.Unit of Plastic SurgeryUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA

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