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Laboratory of Stem Cell Biotchnology

Group Leader


Dr hab. n. med. Ewa Zuba-Surma, prof. UJ

Personal profiles:




Team members

Małgorzata Sekuła, PhD – Scientific adjunct, e-mail:; pok. 1.31
Elżbieta Karnas, MSc – Scientific assistant, e-mail:; pok. 1.31
Katarzyna Kmiotek, MSc - PhD student, e-mail:; pok. 1.31
Sylwia Noga, MSc- PhD student, e-mail:; pok. 1.31

Additional team members

  • Sylwia Bobis-Wozowicz, PhD
    Anna Łabędź-Masłowska, MSc
    Edyta Adamczyk, BSc
    Monika Dźwigońska, BSc

Research area

Laboratory of Stem Cell Biotechnology (LSCB) is a part of the Department of Biotechnology and Food Safety at the MCB and is headed by Professor Ewa Zuba-Surma PhD, DSc, Prof. JU.

The Laboratory is oriented on novel approaches employing adult and pluripotent stem cells (SCs) and their derivatives such as extracellular vesicles (EVs) as tools in regenerative medicine, with particular focus on civilization diseases including cardiovascular diseases. Our current research focuses on developing SC-based applications useful for treatment of cardiovascular diseases and articular cartilage dysfunctions, which are explored in several advanced in vitro assays, animal preclinical models as well as in clinical trials conducted in collaboration with clinical units.

We focus on multiple types of native and genetically- modified SC populations including mesenchymal SCs (MSCs) of different origin, adult and hematopoietic SCs and induced pluripotent SCs (iPS), which have been shown to be a promising transplantable material for regeneration of damaged tissues and organs. Moreover, we also optimize the therapeutic potential of bioactive SC derivatives, including their extracellular vesicles (EVs) that are currently highly explored as potential carriers of pro-regenerative bioactive molecules. Our laboratory utilizes several techniques for SC genetic modifications including distinct viral vector technologies and ZFN/ CRISP genetic engineering tools. The Laboratory conducts also innovative research on the combined use of biocompatible graphene-, polimer- and hydrologel- based scaffolds with SC fractions of as a surfaces supporting propagation and therapeutic properties of various SCs types.

Our team conducts several research projects in collaboration with multiple national and international research centers and clinical institutions.


  • Laboratory of Stem Cell Biotechnology possesses extensive experience in: 

  • isolation and ex vivo culture of SCs derived from bone marrow, umbilical cord, Wharton’s Jelly, adipose tissue, dental pulp as well as mobilized peripheral blood and other adult tissues;

  • genetic reprogramming of various somatic cells toward inducible pluripotent stem cells (iPS) – generation of human and animal iPS cell lines using transfection and transduction methods (including self-produced viral vector systems);

  • genetic modifications of SCs with employing non-viral and viral vector systems as well as genetic editing with nucleases (ZFN, TALEN and CRISP)

  • isolation and analysis of SCs derivatives including bioactive extracellular vesicles (EVS) harvested from SCs and other clinical material (e.g. peripheral blood, umbilical cord and bone marrow, other tissues);

  • identification of SCs and SCs-derived EVs in distinct clinical and research material (both human and animal), based on their antigen profile, by employing multiparameter flow cytometry technology (classical and imaging cytometers); 

  • analysis of the genetic and functional properties of SCs such as 1) selected and global gene (mRNA) and microRNA expression; 2) several SC functions by in multiple in vitro models assessing e.g. cell proliferation, viability, cytotixic sensitivity, metabolic and secretory activity, as well as differentiation capacity; 3) regenerative capabilities in selected in vivo animal models. 

In cooperation with collaborating partners, we also investigate the regenerative activity of SCs in heart or limb ischemia in a small animal model (mouse or rat model) and bone/cartilage injury in a large animal model (porcine model). 


The Laboratory is equipped with modern, top-class infrastructure including:

  • Ultracentrifuge (Optima XPN, Beckman Coulter) for isolation of stem cell-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs); 
  • Automatic magnetic cell sorter (AutoMACS Pro Separator; Miltenyi Biotec) for fully automated, magnetic separation of selected cell populations;
  • Three-laser flow cytometer (LSRFortessa; Becton Dickinson) for multiparameter cells analysis and phenotyping;
  • Luminex multiplex platform for quantitative analysis of cell secretome (Magpix; Bio-Rad)
  • Thermocycler (C1000 Touch™ Thermal Cycler; Bio-Rad) for PCR reaction with the ability to design a temperature gradient;
  • Real-Time PCR system with 96-well and 384-well blocks (QuantStudio 6 Flex Real-Time PCR System Applied Biosystems) for high-throughput quantitative genetic analyzes; 
  • Cell culture room equipped with 2 laminar hoods, standard incubator for animal cell culture, hypoxia incubator, centrifuges, inverted light microscope, low-temperature freezers, autoclave and other small equipment;

The Laboratory is fully equipped with laminar hoods and incubators dedicated for the culture of several cell types, under standard as well as hypoxic conditions. We culture SCs from different tissues and organs providing the highest standards suitable for further development of potential medical applications. We have also the possibility to optimize current methods dedicated for specific purposes required by potential collaborators and business partners. Particularly, we can perform cytotoxicity, viability and functional tests of various chemical and biological compounds in vitro.

  • The high-class molecular biology laboratory allows providing of molecular cloning techniques, including the gene expression analysis and generation of viral vectors for cell genetic modifications. Additionally, high-capacity flow cytometer equipped with three lasers allows for multiparameter characterization 

  • of cell phenotype, as well as potential identific

  • ation of new SCs populations.

  • We are open for collaboration addressed to research groups and companies from the medical, veterinary, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. We may provide experience, laboratory equipment and techniques to conduct research in the described areas.  We are also interested in the cooperation in order to apply for the financial support and research grants from Polish (NCN, NCBR, FNP) and European (EC) founding institutions. 

    We welcome collaboration!





The Laboratory of Stem Cell Biotechnology conducts extensive collaboration with other national and international research units and institutions including:

  • Department of Cell Biology, Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology Jagiellonian University (FBBB JU), Krakow, Poland
  • Nanotechnology of Polymers and Biomaterials Group (NPB) at the Faculty of Chemistry (FCh JU), Krakow, Poland
  • Cardiovascular Research Institute of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC), Kansas City, USA
  • INSERM U1063, Stress Oxydant et Pathologies Pathologies Métaboliques, Institut de Biologie en Santé Université d'Angers, Angers, France
  • University of Science and Technology (AGH), Krakow, Poland
  • Institute of Pharmacology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IP PAS), Krakow, Poland
  • The National Research Institute of Animal Production (NRIAP) in Krakow-Balice, Poland
  • Institute of Electronic Materials Technology (ITME), Warsaw, Poland Medical University of Lublin, Poland

Laboratory of Stem Cell Biotechnology also possesses collaboration with several business partners, including:

  • Polish Stem Cell Bank, Warsaw, Poland
  • Institute of Innovative Medicine IMICare, Krakow, Poland


1) SONANTA BIS (NCN): “Studies of efficacy of microvesicles derived from genetically modified stem cells as carriers for proangiogenic and cardiomyogenic miRNA.”

2) SYMFONIA 3 (NCN): „Optimization of biocompatible scaffolds combining graphene and defined stem cell populations for tissue regeneration.”

3) STRATEGMED 3 (NCBIR): „Development of optimized methods for treatment of tissue injuries based on innovative composites and mesenchymal stem cells and their derivatives in patients with civilization diseases”



  1. Polylactide- and polycaprolactone-based substrates enhance angiogenic potential of human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells in vitro - implications for cardiovascular repair. Sekuła M, Domalik-Pyzik P, Morawska-Chochół A, Bobis-Wozowicz S, Karnas E, Noga S, Boruczkowski D, Adamiak M, Madeja Z, Chłopek J, Zuba-Surma EK. Materials Science and Engineering C, 2017 August (77): 521–533. 
  2. Diverse impact of xeno-free conditions on biological and regenerative properties of hUC-MSCs and their extracellular vesicles. Bobis-Wozowicz S, Kmiotek K, Kania K, Karnas E, Labedz-Maslowska A, Sekula M, Kedracka-Krok S, Kolcz J, Boruczkowski D, Madeja Z, Zuba-Surma EK. J Mol Med (Berl). 2017 Feb;95(2):205-220.
  3. Graphene-based substrates influence biological and functional properties of human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells. Małgorzata Sekuła, Elżbieta Karnas, Joanna Jagiełło, Sylwia Noga, Edyta Adamczyk, Monika Dźwigońska, Katarzyna Kmiotek, Magdalena Baran, Zbigniew Madeja, Ludwika Lipińska, Ewa Zuba-Surma. Engineering of Biomaterials, 2016, Vol. 19, no. 138: 24
  4. Identification of New Rat Bone Marrow-Derived Population of Very Small Stem Cell with Oct-4A and Nanog Expression by Flow Cytometric Platforms. Labedz-Maslowska A, Kamycka E, Bobis-Wozowicz S, Madeja Z, Zuba-Surma EK. Stem Cells Int. 2016;2016:5069857
  5. Mobilization of stem and progenitor cells in patients with atrial fibrillation undergoing circumferential pulmonary vein isolation. Faryan M, Kamycka E, Mizia-Stec K, Wojakowski W, Wybraniec M, Hoffmann A, Nowak S, Kolasa J, Zuba-Surma E, Wnuk-Wojnar AM. Int J Cardiol. 2016 Jan 15;203:415-7.
  6. Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-Induced Protein 1 (MCPIP1) Enhances Angiogenic and Cardiomyogenic Potential of Murine Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells. Labedz-Maslowska A, Lipert B, Berdecka D, Kedracka-Krok S, Jankowska U, Kamycka E, Sekula M, Madeja Z, Dawn B, Jura J, Zuba-Surma E. PLoS One. 2015 Jul 27;10(7):e0133746
  7. Adult Bone Marrow Cell Therapy for Ischemic Heart Disease: Evidence and Insights From Randomized Controlled Trials. Afzal MR, Samanta A, Shah ZI, Jeevanantham V, Abdel-Latif A, Zuba-Surma EK, Dawn B. Circ Res. 2015 Aug 28;117(6):558-75.
  8. Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Microvesicles Transmit RNAs and Proteins to Recipient Mature Heart Cells Modulating Cell Fate and Behavior. Bobis-Wozowicz S, Kmiotek K, Sekula M, Kedracka-Krok S, Kamycka E, Adamiak M, Jankowska U, Madetko-Talowska A, Sarna M, Bik-Multanowski M, Kolcz J, Boruczkowski D, Madeja Z, Dawn B, Zuba-Surma E. Stem Cells. 2015 Sep;33(9):2748-61
  9. Adult bone marrow cell therapy improves survival and induces long-term improvement in cardiac parameters: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Jeevanantham V, Butler M, Saad A, Abdel-Latif A, Zuba-Surma EK, Dawn B. Circulation. 2012 Jul 31;126(5):551-68.
  10. Clinical trials of cardiac repair with adult bone marrow- derived cells. Jeevanantham V, Afzal MR, Zuba-Surma EK, Dawn B. Methods Mol Biol. 2013;1036:179-205