Charles Chamberland

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Charles Chamberland
Charles Chamberland.jpg
Born(1851-03-12)12 March 1851
Died2 May 1908(1908-05-02) (aged 57)
Known forChamberland filter
Scientific career

Charles Chamberland (12 March 1851 – 2 May 1908) was a French microbiologist from Chilly-le-Vignoble in the department of Jura who worked with Louis Pasteur.

Components of a Pasteur-Chamberland filter

In 1884 he developed a type of filtration known today as the Chamberland filter or Chamberland-Pasteur filter, a device that made use of an unglazed porcelain bar.[1] The filter had pores that were smaller than bacteria, thus making it possible to pass a solution containing bacteria through the filter, and having the bacteria completely removed from the solution.[2] Chamberland was also credited for starting a research project that led to the invention of the autoclave device in 1879.

He worked with Pasteur and came up, by chance, with a vaccine for chicken cholera. He went away on holiday, forgetting to inject the disease into some chickens as he had been told. When he came back he saw the jar of bacteria sitting on the side and thought he would inject it into the chickens anyway. To his amazement they did not die. He reported this to Pasteur, who told him to inject a fresh form into the chickens. He went on to inject the fresh form into the same chickens, and they didn't die.[3] He had found a vaccine. They had also discovered that a weakened form of a disease could act as a vaccine.[4]


  1. ^ Horzinek MC (1997). "The birth of virology". Antonie van Leeuwenhoek. 71 (1–2): 15–20. doi:10.1023/A:1000197505492. PMID 9049014.
  2. ^ Hansen, Bert (2015). "The Filter of Life". Distillations. 2 (3): 6-7. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  3. ^ Norn, Svend; Kruse Poul R; Kruse Edith (2006). "On the history of injection". Dansk medicinhistorisk årbog. Denmark. 34: 104–13. ISSN 0084-9588. PMID 17526154.
  4. ^ "Charles Chamberland (1851–1908)". Repères chronologiques (in French). Archived from the original on 2006-12-19. Retrieved 2007-03-17.

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