Regenerative medicine and tissue engineering

Objectives and competences

• Students acquire knowledge of regenerative medicine that develops methods for regenerating, repairing or replacing damaged or diseased cells, organs or tissues and which involves the production and use of therapeutic stem cells, tissue engineering, and artificial organs.
• Students learn about the importance of an interdisciplinary approach in restoring or replacing damaged or diseased tissue or organs.
• Students gain a critical attitude towards different therapeutic approaches in regenerative medicine, know their perspectives and limitations; possible ethical concerns.




Regenerative medicine (introduction, meaning, translation approaches)
Preparation of cell cultures from surgical resects; methods of isolating, multiplying and studying cells; the importance of appropriate in vitro conditions.
Functional and structural studies of cell cultures and cell surgical tissue
Biomaterials as carriers in tissue engineering
Stem cells, their properties and role, as well as perspectives and constraints
Totipotent, pluripotent and multipotent cells Induction of pluripotent stem cells
Differentiation of stem cells
Embryonic stem cells
Use of stem cells in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering
Stem cells in the eye
Use of stem cells in epithelial regeneration
Fibroblasts and their transformation
Ethical aspects in the field of regenerative medicin

Intended learning outcomes

Students will learn about the most recent advancements in regenerative medicine and understand principles that define the stem cell properties, differentiation and reprogramming, as well as therapeutic approaches in regenerative medicine.


  • Molecular Biology of the Cell, Editors: Alberts et al., Sixth edition, 2014, Garland Science, New York
  • Relevant literature in the field


Attendance and active participation in class (20%), seminar (30%) and final exam (50%): Project / Seminar work is a midterm exam. • For the Seminar, participants can use all kinds of published sources of information, but not personal communications. • Seminar will be assessed according to: • Originality • The power of scientific arguments • Scientific regularity • Transparency of written explanation The final written examination serves to assess the understanding of the subject contents. The final exam is a written examination and consists of essay questions. The participants will solve the exams independently.

Lecturer's references

Sofija Andjelić is assistant professor of Animal Physiology. She works at the University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Department of Ophthalmology. Her research is focused on human eye tissues, lens and cornea, for tissue engineering. She is investigating the functional and structural characteristics of the postoperative tissue and cultures, as well as Ca2+ signaling in cells in order to understand the connection between the Ca2+ homeostasis in individual cells, intercellular communication, pathology and potential for regeneration.

Selected Bibliography:

  1. KREUZER, Martin, DUČIĆ, Tanja, HAWLINA, Marko, ANDJELIĆ, Sofija. Synchrotron-based FTIR microspectroscopy of protein aggregation and lipids peroxidation changes in human cataractous lens epithelial cells. Scientific reports. 2020, 10:1-14. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-72413-9.
  2. ANDJELIĆ, Sofija, DRAŠLAR, Kazimir, HVALA, Anastazija, HAWLINA, Marko. Anterior lens epithelium in cataract patients with retinitis pigmentosa : scanning and transmission electron microscopy study. Acta ophthalmologica. 2017, 95(3):e212-e220. DOI: 10.1111/aos.13250.
  3. ANDJELIĆ, Sofija, DRAŠLAR, Kazimir, HVALA, Anastazija, LOKAR, Nina, ŠTRANCAR, Janez, HAWLINA, Marko. Anterior lens epithelial cells attachment to the basal lamina. Acta ophthalmologica. 2016, 94(3):e183-e188. DOI: 10.1111/aos.12902.
  4. ANDJELIĆ, S, DRAŠLAR, K, LUMI, X, YAN, X, GRAW, J, FACSKÓ, A, HAWLINA, M, PETROVSKI, G. Morphological and proliferative studies on ex vivo cultured human anterior lens epithelial cells-relevance to capsular opacification. Acta ophthalmologica, 2015, 93 (6): e499-e506.
  5. ANDJELIĆ, Sofija, LUMI, Xhevat, VERÉB, Zoltán, JOSIFOVSKA, Natasha, FACSKÓ, Andrea, HAWLINA, Marko, PETROVSKI, Goran. A simple method for establishing adherent ex vivo explant cultures from human eye pathologies for use in subsequent calcium imaging and inflammatory studies. Journal of Immunology Research, 2014, 1-10.