About the lab

The laboratory performs research and scientific activities in three main fields: research of autonomic nervous system regulation, psychophysiological research and experimental respirology.

1. Research of autonomic nervous system regulation
Research of autonomic nervous system regulation focuses on investigation of complex relationships between autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity and pathogenesis of cardiovascular disorders. These relationships are studied in various groups of participants from newborns through adolescents and young adults to elderly people, either in good health or with metabolic disorders (underweight, overweight, obesity), nervous system diseases (Parkinson’s disease) and other pathological conditions. Assessment of the autonomic nervous system involves checking for the following: heart rate changes, blood pressure, cardiac output, peripheral vascular resistance and other biosignals, and their mutual relationships at rest and exercise (e.g. orthostatic test, test of mental arithmetic). For better assessment of the patient’s state of health, the following parameters are evaluated: arterial stiffness, endothelial function of blood vessels, metabolic rate and body composition of the patient. This approach allows to more accurately characterize changes in ANS activity associated with various risk factors of cardiovascular diseases. In the future, it may contribute to early therapeutic intervention and   delaying the progression of severe complications including myocardial infarction, atherosclerosis and many others.

2. Psychophysiological research
The psychophysiological research focuses on monitoring the complex stress profile during various stressors (emotional, cognitive, physiological) using evaluation of autonomic characteristics of biosignals (heart rate, blood pressure, electrodermal activity, pupil diameter and the others); application of the acquired knowledge in clinical practise – diagnostics of the earliest changes in autonomic dysregulation in connection with personal characteristics with the aim to find non-invasive biomarkers for detection of risk groups and clinically asymptomatic and latent changes associated with cardiovascular risk assessment in stress-related, psychosomatic and mental health disorders. It also includes direct monitoring and application of personalized therapeutic modules based on biological and neurofeedback aimed at improving reversible functional disorders of autonomic dysregulation, reducing cardiovascular and other health-related risks, and subsequent influencing the adaptability and flexibility, including “coping” mechanisms in stressful situations. This approach is ground-breaking in detection of potential biomarkers and subsequent strict individual and personalized therapy.

3. Experimental respirology
The main focus of experimental respirology is on modelling of respiratory diseases predominantly related to pulmonary surfactant dysfunction. Main interest is focused on the pathophysiology of acute lung injury of various etiologies which generally characterized by an excessive inflammatory reaction, oedema, inactivation of the pulmonary surfactant and subsequent worsening of the ventilation-perfusion matching. The research also deals with pre-clinical testing of innovative therapeutic procedures using laboratory animals, tissues and cell cultures, which may contribute to more efficient treatment of acute lung injury.


  • Head:
    RNDr. Pavol Mikolka, PhD.
    +421 2633 473

  • Researchers:
    Ing. Barbora Czippelová, PhD.
    Ing. Jana Čerňanová Krohová, PhD.
    MUDr. Nikola Ferencová, PhD.
    Ing. Juliana Hanusrichterová, PhD.
    RNDr. Maroš Kolomazník, PhD.
    RNDr. Petra Košútová, PhD.
    Ing. Zuzana Turianiková, PhD.
    Ing. Zuzana Višňovcová, PhD.

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Laboratory infrastructure

1. Research of autonomic nervous system regulation
Laboratory is equipped with modern non-invasive measuring devices. Basic biosignal monitoring set for assessment of cardiovascular system regulated by autonomic nervous system consists of Finometer (FMS) and Nexfin (Edwards Lifesciences) devices, which are used for non-invasive  beat-to-beat blood pressure monitoring using volume-clamp method, ECG Cardiofax 9620M (Nihon Cohden) for monitoring the electrical activity of the heart, RespiTrace (NIMS) for non-invasive respiratory monitoring by impedance method using chest and abdominal belts and impedance cardiograph CardioScreen 2000 (Medis) for non-invasive monitoring of various parameters associated with pumping function of the heart (systolic volume, systolic time intervals, etc.). Other devices are used to characterize arterial stiffness – VaSera VS-1500N (Fukuda Denshi), endothelial dysfunction – EndoPAT 2000 (Itamar Medical), determination of basal metabolism – MedGem (Microlife) and analysis of body composition – InBody J10 (Biospace).

2. Psychophysiological research
Laboratory uses devices for non-invasive continuous biosignals monitoring (ECG (BTL; Pola V8), blood pressure (Finometer, Finapres medical systems), electrodermal activity, respiration, peripheral temperature (Flex Comp Infinity, Thought Technology), pupilometry (Neuroptics PLR200), eye movements (Eyetracking, Pupil Labs)) and body composition analysis (InBody 120). Comprehensive monitoring and evaluation of biomarkers helps to detect early changes that may be associated with the onset/development of cardiovascular and other diseases.

3. Experimental respirology
The laboratory is equipped with the instrument to measure surfactant function in vitro, which imitates the pulmonary alveoli – Pulsating bubble surfactometer (General Transco), as well as with all essential lab devices: ventilators – Aura V(Chirana), SLE5000 (SLE), Inspira ASV (Harvard Apparatus) for mechanical ventilation of the lungs; ADInstruments system – LabChart, Spirometer, Bridge Amp, Animal Bio Amp for perioperative monitoring and analysis of vital functions; RAPIDLab TM348EX (Siemens) for measuring blood gases and acid-base balance parameters; veterinary haematology analyser XT-2000i (Sysmex) for complete blood count test.

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  1. VEGA 1/0200/19 “Non-invasive assessment of early atherosclerotic changes associated with obesity.“ 


  1. VEGA 1/0109/20 “Electrodermal activity as a sympathetic regulation / dysregulation index – analysis using complex mathematical methods in relation to selected diseases.”
  1. VEGA 1/0004/21 “Synthetic surfactant with surfactant proteins SP-B and SP-C analogues and anti-inflammatory therapy in experimental acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).”

The most important publications

Czippelova B, Turianikova Z, Krohova J, Wiszt R, Lazarova Z, Pozorciakova K, Ciljakova M, Javorka M. Arterial Stiffness and Endothelial Function in Young Obese Patients – Vascular Resistance Matters. J Atheroscler Thromb. 2019; 26(11): 1015-1025. doi: 10.5551/jat.47530

Krohova J, Faes L, Czippelova B, Pernice R, Turianikova Z, Wiszt R, Mazgutova N, Busacca A,  Javorka M. Vascular resistance arm of the baroreflex: Methodology and comparison with the cardiac chronotropic arm. Journal of Applied Physiology. 2020; 128(5): 1310-1320. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00512.2019

Turianikova Z, Javorka K, Baumert M, Calkovska A, Javorka M. The effect of orthostatic stress on multiscale entropy of heart rate and blood pressure. Physiol Meas. 2011; 32(9): 1425-37. doi: 10.1088/0967-3334/32/9/006

Visnovcova Z, Bona Olexova L, Sekaninova N, Ondrejka I, Hrtanek I, Cesnekova D, Kelcikova S, Farsky I, Tonhajzerova I. Spectral and nonlinear analysis of electrodermal activity in adolescent anorexia nervosa. Applied Sciences. 2020; 10(13): 1-13. doi: 10.3390/app10134514

Tonhajzerova I, Sekaninova N, Bona Olexova L, Visnovcova Z. Novel Insight into Neuroimmune Regulatory Mechanisms and Biomarkers Linking Major Depression and Vascular Diseases: The Dilemma Continues. Int J Mol Sci. 2020; 21(7): 2317. doi: 10.3390/ijms21072317

Sekaninova N, Bona Olexova L, Visnovcova Z, Ondrejka I, Tonhajzerova I. Role of Neuroendocrine, Immune, and Autonomic Nervous System in Anorexia Nervosa-Linked Cardiovascular Diseases. Int J Mol Sci. 2020; 21(19): 7302. doi: 10.3390/ijms21197302

Bona Olexova L, Sekaninova N, Jurko A Jr, Visnovcova Z, Grendar M, Jurko T, Tonhajzerova I. Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia as an Index of Cardiac Vagal Control in Mitral Valve Prolapse. Physiol Res. 2020; 69(Suppl 1): S163-S169. doi: 10.33549/physiolres.934402

Mikolka P, Curstedt T, Feinstein R, Larsson A, Grendar M, Rising A, Johansson J. Impact of synthetic surfactant CHF5633 with SP-B and SP-C analogues on lung function and inflammation in rabbit model of acute respiratory distress syndrome. Physiol Rep. 2021; 9(1): e14700. doi: 10.14814/phy2.14700

Zebialowicz Ahlström J, Massaro F, Mikolka P, Feinstein R, Perchiazzi G, Basabe-Burgos O, Curstedt T, Larsson A, Johansson J, Rising A. Synthetic surfactant with a recombinant surfactant protein C analogue improves lung function and attenuates inflammation in a model of acute respiratory distress syndrome in adult rabbits. Respir Res. 2019; 20(1): 245. doi: 10.1186/s12931-019-1220-x

Kosutova P, Mikolka P, Balentova S, Kolomaznik M, Adamkov M, Mokry J, Calkovska A, Mokra D. Effects of phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor sildenafil on the respiratory parameters, inflammation and apoptosis in a saline lavage-induced model of acute lung injury. J Physiol Pharmacol. 2018; 69(5). doi: 10.26402/jpp.2018.5.15

Kolomaznik M, Kopincova J, Nova Z, Topercerova J, Zila I, Mikolka P, Kosutova P, Matasova K Jr, Skovierova H, Grendar M, Mokra D, Calkovska A. The Effect of Modified Porcine Surfactant Alone or in Combination with Polymyxin B on Lung Homeostasis in LPS-Challenged and Mechanically Ventilated Adult Rats. Molecules. 2020; 25(19): 4356. doi: 10.3390/molecules25194356