Embryology History - Johann Meckel

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Johann Friedrich Meckel (1781 - 1833) the Younger, was an historic German anatomist and teratologist. He published in German "Meckel's Handbook of Pathological Anatomy" (1812), and also translated Wolff's paper "De formatione intestinorum" into the German language. His pathology handbook has been translated into both French and English.

Best known today in embryology for the developmental features that bear his name:

  1. Meckel's cartilage, a developmental cartilage bar present in the first pharyngeal arch and acting as a template for the future position of the mandible and contributing the malleus and incus of the middle ear.
  2. Meckel's diverticulum, a developmental abnormality of the gastrointestinal tract due to the persistence of the embryonic vitelline duct (omphalomesenteric duct, yolk stalk).
  3. Meckel syndrome
  4. Meckel-Serres law of recapitulation

Meckel's cartilage Meckel's diverticulum
Meckel's cartilage Meckel's diverticulum 01.jpg
Middle Ear Ossicles
Gray0916.jpg Gray0917.jpg
Malleus (hammer)
Incus (anvil)

His father, Johann Friedrich Meckel Senior (1750) first described Lutembacher syndrome, coarctation of the aorta.

Embryologists: William Hunter | Wilhelm Roux | Caspar Wolff | Wilhelm His | Oscar Hertwig | Julius Kollmann | Hans Spemann | Francis Balfour | Charles Minot | Ambrosius Hubrecht | Charles Bardeen | Franz Keibel | Franklin Mall | Florence Sabin | George Streeter | George Corner | James Hill | Jan Florian | Thomas Bryce | Thomas Morgan | Ernest Frazer | Francisco Orts-Llorca | José Doménech Mateu | Frederic Lewis | Arthur Meyer | Robert Meyer | Erich Blechschmidt | Klaus Hinrichsen | Hideo Nishimura | Arthur Hertig | John Rock | Viktor Hamburger | Mary Lyon | Nicole Le Douarin | Robert Winston | Fabiola Müller | Ronan O'Rahilly | Robert Edwards | John Gurdon | Shinya Yamanaka | Embryology History | Category:People
Related Histology Researchers  
Santiago Ramón y Cajal | Camillo Golgi


Ivatury RR. (2019). Meckel's diverticulum and the eponymous legend. J Trauma Acute Care Surg , 87, 451-455. PMID: 31349351 DOI.

Parquet RA. (2014). [Johann Friedrich Meckel, the Younger]. Acta Gastroenterol. Latinoam. , 44, 87. PMID: 25199300

Schierhorn H. (1984). [Johann Friedrich Meckel, Jr. as founder of scientific teratology]. Gegenbaurs Morphol Jahrb , 130, 399-439. PMID: 6381217

Seidler E. (1984). Johann Friedrich Meckel the Younger (1781-1833). Am. J. Med. Genet. , 18, 571-86. PMID: 6385706 DOI.


Meckel JF. Handbook of Pathological Anatomy (Handbuch der pathologischen Anatomie). (1812) Leipzig.

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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, June 15) Embryology Embryology History - Johann Meckel. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Embryology_History_-_Johann_Meckel

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© Dr Mark Hill 2024, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G