Jessenius Faculty of Medicine
in Martin
Comenius University Bratislava

Science and research

Main focus

Research work is focused to Biophysics and Physiology of respiratory system, particularly analysing the mechanisms of neuronal regulation of breathing, protective reflexes of airways and the motion of laryngeal muscles. Electrophysiological laboratory at our institute is currently the only electrophysiological lab in the Slovak Republic which deals with questions concerning the neurophysiology of breathing, coughing and other breathing related reflexes. The institute has a long-lasting scientific co-operation with the Veterinary College, University of Florida, U.S.A.,  Department of  Normal and Pathological Physiology SAV in  Bratislava, Department of Medical Biophysics UPJŠ Košice and  departments and institutes of medical biophysics in Czech Republic.


Department of Medical Biophysics is a part of the Center for Experimental and Clinical Respirology. The following activities are engaged:

  • To establish and modernize laboratories of experimentals respirology
  • To create new common projects in area of experimentals and clinical respirology.

Responsible scientists: prof. MUDr. Ján  Jakuš, DrSc. and prof. RNDr. Ivan Poliaček, PhD.

Department of Medical Biophysics also analyses effects of high-frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF) in area of mobile communication in students and experimentals animals. The effects of EMF on heart rate variability, temperature changes, transport of  Fe2+ in a brain as well as possible cytotoxic effects in tissues are examined before and after application of EMF. Our department cooperates with University hospital in Orebor in Sweden (prof. Hardell).

The significant scientific results

  • The Bötzinger complex area and nucleus paraambigualis of medulla oblongata participate in creation of a motor pattern of the expiration reflex in anaesthetized spontaneously breathing cat.

  • The reticular ventral nucleus in the lateral tegmental field of medulla and the rapheal nuclei of medulla are essential for eliciting of both cough and expiration reflex.

    • The dorsolateral part of Pons Varoli participates in production of motor patterns of the cough and the aspiration and the expiration reflexes.

        • The neurons in the medial reticular formation of the mesencephalon are involved in the central reflex arc of the aspiration reflex.

        • The area of nucl. retroambigualis is essential for formation of cough expulsion in the cat and further, this region contains inhibitory neurons involved in control of cough reflex excitability (gating).

          • Tracheobronchial cough, aspiration reflex and expiration reflex are controlled by the neurons coming from the holarchical (multilevel) system  including multiple aggregation of neurons from the mesencephalon, pons Varoli and medulla oblongata.
          • Microwave radiation from mobile phones is potentially dangerous for humans, it is especially necessary to monitor the quality of the received signal and not to make calls in shaded areas (e.g. underground garages, tunnels, etc.).
          • When the head is irradiated, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, when radiation is applied to the chest, the activity of the sympathetic system increases.