The Department of Biological Models focuses on the study of adult stem cells and their application for regenerative medicine using two model systems - in vitro (cell cultures) and in vivo (experimental animals). The team has deep knowledge of artificial tissue construction, using polymer scaffolds. Their expertise includes the evaluation of material biocompatibility, cell-surface interactions and methods of stem cell differentiation and associated processes assessment. The ultimate goal of these studies is to control the behavior of stem cells, directing them towards specific lineage differentiation by tailoring the chemical composition, physical properties and surface coating of the materials. Fabricated segments of artificial tissues are tested in vivo – by surgical implantation in animals.
The department has a modern laboratory for experimental animals, which is designed for work with mice, rats and rabbits. The animals are kept either in conventional or SPF (specific-pathogen-free) areas. The laboratory is approved by the State Food and Veterinary Service for breeding and selling as well as experimental work with animals. The highly qualified staff hold all the necessary certificates for animal research. Some facilities, including a fully equipped operating room and laboratory for working with animal specimens are open to all scientists who have the right to work with animals. In this laboratory, heart failure research is carried out, studies of biocompatibility and toxicological tests are being performed.