Professor Thomas Eschenhagen and his research team
The research team around Thomas Eschenhagen at the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf investigates the effects of pharmacological substances on the human heart. Testing of these cardiac effects has usually been done on animals. The scientists in Hamburg are developing an innovative alternative method using human embryonic stem cells. From these, the researchers differentiate tissue that has the properties of heart muscle tissue and can be used very flexibly to screen the agents. It allows them to simulate and control heartbeat strength and frequency as well as other important test parameters. This method, which is already in the advanced stages of its development and has been published in internationally recognised scientific journals, also makes it possible to conduct and analyse tests in a largely automated fashion.