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Welcome to the Mikolka Lab

Laboratory focused on pulmonary surfactant and related acute lung injury

About the lab

We are an established lab group focused on the pathophysiology of surfactant and linked acute lung injury (acute respiratory distress syndrome ARDS). 

The main focus is on the modelling of respiratory diseases predominantly related to pulmonary surfactant dysfunction. Our research deals with pre-clinical testing of innovative therapeutic procedures e.g. synthetic surfactant, which may contribute to more efficient treatment of acute lung injury. 

In our research, we use animal models of acute lung injury, cell cultures, ICU management strategies and molecular and biochemical based technologies.

Pavol group is located at Department of Physiology and Biomedical Center Martin at Jessenius Faculty of Medicine Comenius University in Martin, Slovakia. The group is part of Laboratory of functional testing of the cardiovascular, nervous and respiratory systems.

Schematic representation of pulmonary surfactant adsorption and stabilization effect of surfactant proteins SP-B and SP-C during not only respiratory cycles (; Schematic model of Young-Laplace law in the acinar airways (; Pathological changes in the lung alveolus during ARDS – COVID-19 (; RDS lung X-ray before and after surfactant administration (

Our Research

Research is focused on 3 main topics:

1. Pathophysiology of acute lung injury

2. Exogenous surfactant therapy

3. Distribution of surfactant in lungs

Pathophysiology of acute lung injury

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.

Exogenous surfactant therapy

Our group has established the multiple-hit model of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) closely reflecting the clinical manifestations of disease. Thus, scientific work provides an opportunity to search for novel therapeutic strategies. Pavol has participated in testing experimental anti-inflammatory and surfactant therapies and non-standard ventilatory support. New generation synthetic surfactants are hot topic issue.

Distribution of surfactant in lungs

Distribution of exogenous surfactant in lungs is also one of the unanswered questions. We try to established a MRI protocol for lung investigation and thus observe spreading of the administrated drug.

Our Team

Pavol Mikolka

Originally coming from the Department of physiology JFM CU where got charmed by experimental acute lung injury, anti-inflammatory and surfactant therapies and non-standard ventilatory support. During postdoc in Johansson lab at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden he gained experience with exogenous surfactants preparations used in neonatology. The work is mainly focused on testing new generation synthetic surfactants in experimental conditions.

Petra Kosutova

Postdoctoral researcher at Biomedical Center Martin with interest in respirology.

Maros Kolomaznik

Postdoctoral researcher at Biomedical Centre Martin with interest in surfactant biology. Maros graduated doctoral study at JFM CU, during study completed a research fellow at the Experimental Laboratory for Surfactant Research in Lübeck, Germany. His research is focused on pulmonary surfactant, acute lung injury and evaluation of the biophysical activity of surfactants of various origins.

Nikolett Nemcova

PhD student at Department of Physiology JFM CU with interest in molecular biology of exogenous surfactant. Nikolett graduated magister study at Faculty of science Comenius University. 


Kolomaznik M, Hanusrichterova J, Mikolka P, et al. Efficiency of exogenous surfactant combined with intravenous N-acetylcysteine in two-hit rodent model of ARDS. Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2023;316:104138. doi:10.1016/j.resp.2023.104138. Read more

Mikolka P, Kronqvist N, Haegerstrand-Björkman M, et al. Synthetic surfactant with a combined SP-B and SP-C analogue is efficient in rabbit models of adult and neonatal respiratory distress syndrome [published online ahead of print, 2023 Jul 26]. Transl Res. 2023;S1931-5244(23)00127-5. doi:10.1016/j.trsl.2023.07.009. Read more

Kosutova P, Mikolka P, Mokra D, Calkovska A. Anti-inflammatory activity of non-selective PDE inhibitor aminophylline on the lung tissue and respiratory parameters in animal model of ARDS. J Inflamm (Lond). 2023;20(1):10. Published 2023 Mar 16. doi:10.1186/s12950-023-00337-y. Read more

Mikolka P, Kosutova P, Kolomaznik M, et al. Efficacy of surfactant therapy of ARDS induced by hydrochloric acid aspiration followed by ventilator-induced lung injury – an animal study. Physiol Res. 2022;71(S2):S237-S249. doi:10.33549/physiolres.935003. Read more

Košutova P, Mikolka P. Aspiration syndromes and associated lung injury: incidence, pathophysiology and management. Physiol Res. 2021 Dec 30;70(Suppl4):S567-S583. doi: 10.33549/physiolres.934767. PMID: 35199544. Read more

Kosutova P, Kolomaznik M, Calkovska A, Mokra D, Mikolka P. Nitric-Oxide-Releasing Dexamethasone Derivative NCX-1005 Improves Lung Function and Attenuates Inflammation in Experimental Lavage-Induced ARDS. Pharmaceutics. 2021 Dec 5;13(12):2092. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics13122092. PMID: 34959373; PMCID: PMC8703685. Read more

Kolomaznik M, Mikolka P, Hanusrichterova J, Kosutova P, Matasova K Jr, Mokra D, Calkovska A. N-Acetylcysteine in Mechanically Ventilated Rats with Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: The Effect of Intravenous Dose on Oxidative Damage and Inflammation. Biomedicines. 2021 Dec 12;9(12):1885. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines9121885. PMID: 34944701; PMCID: PMC8698392. Read more

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 Jan;9(1):e14700. doi: 10.14814/phy2.14700. PMID: 33403805; PMCID: PMC7786196. Read more

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 Nov 6;20(1):245. doi: 10.1186/s12931-019-1220-x. PMID: 31694668; PMCID: PMC6836435. Read more


We are grateful for any support of our research:


Grant for a full-time doctoral student of the Comenius University

VEGA 1/0004/21

Scientific Grant Agency of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic and Slovak Academy of Sciences

Chiesi Farmaceutici

Chiesi provides exogenous surfactants (poractant alfa and CHF5633) used in our experiments.


Open PhD. positions 

AY 2024/2025

Školiteľ/Tutor: RNDr. Pavol Mikolka, PhD.

1. Téma/Topic: Surfaktant a poruchy pľúcnej homeostázy – úloha syntetických surfaktantov pri akútnom poškodení pľúc/ Surfactant and pulmonary homeostasis disorders - the role of synthetic surfactants in acute lung injury.

2. Téma/Topic: Syntetické surfaktanty pri ochoreniach súvisiacich s primárnym a sekundárnym deficitom pľúcneho surfaktantu – predklinická štúdia/ Synthetic surfactants in diseases related to primary and secondary pulmonary surfactant deficiency - preclinical study.

Forma štúdia/Form of study: denná/full-time

Please contact us if interested.

Open PhD. positions 

AY 2022/2023

Research topics:
1. Acute lung injury after aspiration of sterile gastric content: mechanisms and treatment
2. The use of new generation pulmonary surfactants in acute lung injury
Please contact us if interested.


Funding from National Scholarship Programme of the Slovak Republic received for 3-month research stay at Karolinska Institutet.


Eset Science award international jury nominated Pavol as finalist Exceptional young scientist in Slovakia under the age 35. Read more


Funding from Scientific Grant Agency of the Slovak Republic received.


Asst. Prof. Pavol Mikolka

Department of Physiology
Biomedical Centre Martin
Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in Martin
Comenius University
Office: BioMed 3.28
Tel: (421) 43 2633-473

About us

Newly established research group focusing on the pathophysiology of pulmonary surfactant and
linked acute lung injury.


Pavol Mikolka, RNDr. PhD.
Department of physiology
Jessenius faculty of medicine


Jessenius Faculty of Medicine
Comenius University
Malá hora 4C
036 01 Martin