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Department has been established in 1996 under the pressure of a new knowledge about tissue regeneration. The founding organization has been the UPJŠ Faculty of Medicine, followed by joining of the University Hospital in Košice. From the very first moments of its existence, the new establishment had the character of a classic tissue bank, since its activities has been devoted mainly to collection of eye corneas from tissue donors, collection, processing and distribution of bone and connective tissues for Slovak medical subjects, and fertility disorders diagnostics. The aim was to reduce autologous bone and connective tissue collections for bone surgery, often followed by the mutilating effects in patients and provide already worldwide well-established techniques of allogenic bone grafting. The program has been supported by hospital and faculty management. However, from the beginning of its existence the Department has become scientific-research facility, which to some extent helped to develop modern experimental techniques in practice. Over the time, there has been developed programs for hematopoietic stem cells transplantation (with Department of Hematology and Oncohaemathology), bone and connective tissue transplantation (with Department of Orthopaedics and Traumathology of Locomotory Apparatus and Department of Stomatology and Maxilofacial Surgery), transplantation of eye corneas (with Department of Ophthalmology), program of fertility disorders diagnostics, and intensive development of the cell therapy program. Subsequently, in collaboration with the newly established Department of Heart Surgery the program for collection of heart valves and blood vessels has been developed. The highest innovative moment in the department development was the cell therapy program for treatment of cartilage and bone defects. As the first in Slovakia, the Department of Orthopaedics and Traumathology of Locomotory Apparatus located on Trieda SNP has successfully applied the program to their experimental therapeutic activities with utilization of autologous ex vivo expanded chondrocytes for focal cartilage defects treatment and autologous osteoblasts from patient’s bone marrow for treatment of complicated long-term non-healing fractures and aseptic bionecrosis. These techniques are very efficiently applied into the practice on the Department of Trauma Surgery, where this technology has been mainly used in the treatment of complicated non-healing fractures.

Since 2012, the Department represents the most modern facility of its kind in Slovakia and allows to continuously developing programs for cells and tissues preparation for clinical purposes in much better conditions. Currently, the Department has 6 workers with PhD scientific degree and 3 workers in scientific training, successfully publishing their results in domestic and foreign scientific journals and monographs. Department participates in many national and international projects and programs, and is also preparing new development projects, such as Project for pancreatic islets transplantation together with the Polymer Institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava, with director Ing. Igor Lacík, PhD., as a part of the Chicago Diabetes Project. Department also regularly applies for projects of Scientific Grant Agencies.

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