Laboratory for Cell Culture Technology and Biotransformations


Igor Slivac, PhD

Phone: + 385 1 4605 278

The Laboratory was founded in 1960 within the Department of Organic Chemistry and Technology of Food and Technology Department at the Faculty of Technology, University of Zagreb. Its name was Laboratory for Chemistry and Technology of Vitamins and Hormones. Since 1980 it has been a part of the Department of Biochemical Engineering of the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb. Expanding the area of its activity, in 1996 the Laboratory was renamed "Laboratory for Cell Technology and Biotransformation".

At its beginnings, the researchers of the Laboratory were studying synthesis of vitamins and vitamin derivates. In 1987 the scientific expertise expanded in the field of metabolic mechanisms of steroid and pituitary hormones, biological activity of natural plant secondary metabolites (glucosinolates and polyphenols), biocatalysis in obtaining enantiomeric pure compounds, studying of natural heterocyclic compounds and the influence of xenobiotics, especially pesticides on reproductive functions. Particularly important aspect of running experiments in vivo and in vitro was equipping the Laboratory for work with animal cell culture. Several years later this triggered the research of viral vaccine production in bench top bioreactor systems. Expertise was obtained in both suspension and (immobilized) adherent cell cultures. Part of the research has always been using animal cells for testing environmental contaminants as well as naturally occurring substances.

Current Scientific expertise

The research interest of the Laboratory members currently covers two areas:

  1. Animal cell culture media development for improved cell growth and recombinant protein production. Supplementation of cell culture media with compounds from processed natural substances and assessment of their beneficial properties in cell culture. Current focus is given to the protein hydrolysates of plant origin that are tested as partial substituent of proteins contained in animal serum, or as supplement in standard chemically defined media. The same compounds are assessed for their biological activity. Furthermore, we study in vitro cytotoxicity of different natural and synthetic compounds.
  2. Our research team in collaboration with several institutions is dedicated to preparation, characterization and implementation of NADES in food technology, biotechnology and chemical technology. In that time we published more than 20 scientific paper on this subject in highly-impacted journals. Gained knowledge and experience in this field encourage us to advise and offer NADES service, which provides all in one preparation and characterization of NADES together with support in developing of eco-friendly technologies using NADES.We offer our customers the opportunity to jointly develop completely new products and bring them to market, using our NADES and profound know-how.

Links to the research project websites


Name and surname Academic title Job title
Višnja Gaurina Srček PhD Full Professor
Ivana Radojčić Redovniković PhD Full Professor
Igor Slivac PhD Full Professor
Marina Cvjetko Bubalo PhD Associate Professor
Kristina Radošević PhD Associate Professor
Martina Bagović mag. ing. Scientific Assistant
Anja Damjanović mag. ing. Scientific Assistant
Mia Radović mag. ing. Scientific Assistant
Zlatko Kniewald PhD professor emeritus

Courses (preddiplomski)

Course Title Course number ECTS
HPLC-analysis of Low Molecular Weight Compounds 39865 3
Technology of Vitamin and Hormone Production 39785 (PDBT) i 53713 (DBPI) 4

Courses (diplomski)

Course Title Course number ECTS
Animal and plant cell technology 53245 (DMB) i 53226 (DBPI) 4
Basics of Tissue Engineering 66748 2
Biotransformations 53268 3
Interaction of Molecules and Receptors 53260 2
Phytoremediation 66750 3

Courses (doktorski)

Course Title Course number ECTS
Plant biotechnology 165646 3
Scientific projects and intellectual property protection 165648 3
Signal transduction in cells 165610 3
Stereoselective biotransformations 165609 3
Technology and application of animal cells 165635 3
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