- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Anton Nuck

Born  1650
Died  1692

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Dutch anatomist, born 1650, Harderwyjk; died August 5, 1692.

Biography of Anton Nuck

Anton Nuck was also often called Antonius Nuck van Leiden, after his native city. He commenced his medical studies in Harderwyjk (now written Harderwijk), but changed to Leiden where he received his doctorate on February 2, 1677 with the dissertation De diabete. He then settled as a practitioner in Delft. In 1683 he was called to Den Haag as a lecturer of anatomy at the Collegium anatomicum chirurgicum, working there as a teacher of anatomy before eventually returning to Leiden, where he was appointed to the chair of medicine and anatomy. His excellent theoretical lecturing, but even more his practical-anatomical teaching soon earned him a reputation that attracted students even from far away to Leiden.

Besides anatomy, physiology was Nuck's most important field of research. He was well known as an oculist, aurist, and dentist, and did his most important work in investigating the lymphatics and glands. He pioneered the injection of marker substances into the salivary glands, not only via their ducts but also via their blood vessels, and he introduced the new word "sialography" for the illustration of his results. This technique was similar to the injection technique Frederik Ruysch (1638-1731) had used for the blood vessels.

He also investigated the reproductive organs of man and the regeneration of the aqueous humour which maintains the pressure of the eye. He demonstrated this publicly in the Anatomical Theatre at Leyden, in a Dog, out of whose Eye being wounded the aqueous Humour did

Nuck is also remembered for advocating an anatomical dental forceps, designed to fit the shape of the teeth they were to extract.

In 1692 Nuck was invited to Franeker, but rejected this professorship and died that year,


  • De ductu salivali novo, saliva, ductibus oculorum aquosis, et humore oculi aquaeo.
    Lugduni Batavorum, P. vander Aa, 1685, 1686.
  • Sialographia et ductum aquosorum anatome nova. Leiden 1690, 1695, 1723.
    This book, first published in 1685 under the title De ductu, contains some of Nuck's best work on glands and ducts, especially the salivaries and tear ducts. The six large engraved folding plates were drawn by Nuck.
  • Defensio ductuum aquosorum nec non fons salivalis novus, hactenus, non descriptis.
    Leiden, 1691, 1695.
  • Adenographia curiosa et uteri foeminei anatome nova.
    Lugduni Batavorum (Leiden), apud Jordanum Luchtmans, 1691, 1692, 1696, 1722.
  • Opera omnia anatomica, et chirurgica.
    3 works in one volume:
  • Operationes et experimenta chirurgica.
    Leiden , 1692, 1696, 1714, 1733, Jena, 1698.
    Dutch translation, by van Overshuur, Leiden, 1740.
    German translation by Bassius, Lübeck and Wismae, 1709; as Der erläuterte Nuck (“The enlightened Nuck”), Halle, 1728.
    An interesting book of surgical operations, containing several chapters on ophthalmology and otology, two on dentistry, three on hernia, one on blood transfusions, with illustrations.
  • Sialographia, et ductum aquosorum anatome nova. Leiden 1722.
  • Suringar:
    Geschiednis van het geneeskunde onderwijs aan de Leydsche Hoogeshool. v. d. Aa XII, p 342.
  • Fritz Vogel:
    Zahnärztliches in den Werken von Anton Nuck. Dissertation, Leipzig, 1924.

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