Prof. Dr. Arne Hansen


Prof. Dr. Arne Hansen

University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
Department of Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology
Martinistrasse 52
20246 Hamburg

Email: ar.hansen(at)


Research areas: complex human in vitro models, induced pluripotent stem cells

Arne Hansen is DZHK Professor for cardiac tissue engineering at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. He develops complex human three-dimensional cell culture models and applies them to study cardiac disease mechanisms and pharmacological effects.

Research focus

Prof. Hansen’s research team aims to develop complex cardiac in vitro models and applies them to study disease mechanisms of the heart. His work is driven by the hypothesis that human in vitro models are complementary, predictive, and provide useful insight. To reach these goals, his group employs human induced pluripotent stem cell reprogramming and expansion, CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, cardiomyocyte subtype differentiation, and tissue engineering protocols as versatile tools for biomedical model development. His group develops and employs customized test systems with an automated readout of physiological parameters like action potential, calcium transient, and contractile force, enabling to investigate cardiac gene and drug effects with high levels of standardization. By combining automated functional analysis with surrogates for cardiac cell biology (e.g., metabolism, apoptosis, proliferation), his research group aims to deepen the understanding of cardiac biology and cardiomyopathy mechanisms. The long-term perspective of this research focus is to contribute to the development of well-characterized human in vitro models closely replicating physiology and disease mechanisms and thereby to facilitate biomedical translation.

Major achievements and awards

    • Stipend German Research Foundation (2004-2005)
    • Ursula M. Händel-Tierschutzpreis of German Research Foundation (2011)
    • Forschungspreis für Alternativen zum Tierversuch, Hansestadt Hamburg (2019)
    • Co-Founder EHT Technologies GmbH (2015)

    Key publications

    Saleem U, Braren I, Mannhardt I, Denning C, Eschenhagen T, Hansen A (2020). Force and calcium transient analysis in human engineered heart tissues reveals positive force-frequency relation at physiological frequency. Stem Cell Reports,14(2):312–324. 31956082

    Lemme M, Ulmer BM, Lemoine MD, Zech ATL, Flenner F, Ravens U, Reichenspurner H, Rol-Garcia M, Smith G, Hansen A, Christ T, Eschenhagen T. Atrial-like Engineered Heart Tissue: An In Vitro Model of the Human Atrium. Stem Cell Reports. 2018 Dec 11;11(6):1378-1390. 30416051

    Mosqueira D, Mannhardt I, Bhagwan JR, Lis-Slimak K, Katili P, Scott E, Hassan M, Prondzynski M, Harmer SC, Tinker A, Smith JGW, Carrier L, Williams PM, Gaffney D, Eschenhagen T, Hansen A, Denning C. CRISPR/Cas9 editing in human pluripotent stem cell-cardiomyocytes highlights arrhythmias, hypocontractility, and energy depletion as potential therapeutic targets for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Eur. Heart J. (2018). 29741611

    Ulmer BM, Stoehr A, Mannhardt I, Patel S, Gucek M, Schulze ML, Murphy E, Eschenhagen T, Hansen A. Contractile work contributes to maturation of energy metabolism in hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes. Stem cell reports 10, 834–847 (2018). 29503093

    Mannhardt I, Eder A, Dumotier B, Prondzynski M, Krämer E, Traebert M, Söhren KD, Flenner F, Stathopoulou K, Lemoine M, Carrier L, Christ T, Eschenhagen T, Hansen A. Blinded contractility analysis in hiPSC-cardiomyocytes in engineered heart tissue format: Comparison with human atrial trabeculae. Toxicol Sci. 2017 Apr 27. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfx081. 28453742

    Breckwoldt K, Letuffe-Brenière D, Mannhardt I, Schulze T, Ulmer B, Werner T, Benzin A, Klampe B, Reinsch MC, Laufer S, Shibamiya A, Prondzynski M, Mearini G, Schade D, Fuchs S, Neuber C, Krämer E, Saleem U, Schulze ML, Marita L. Rodriguez ML, Eschenhagen T, Hansen A. Differentiation of cardiomyocytes and generation of human Engineered Heart Tissue. Nat Protoc. 2017 Jun;12(6):1177-1197. 28492526

    Weinberger F, Breckwoldt K, Pecha S, Kelly A, Geertz B, Starbatty J, Yorgan T, Cheng KH, Lessmann K, Stolen T, Scherrer-Crosbie M, Smith G, Reichenspurner H, Hansen A, Eschenhagen T. Cardiac repair in guinea pigs with human engineered heart tissue from induced pluripotent stem cells. Sci Transl Med. 2016 Nov 2;8(363):363ra148. 27807283

    Mannhardt I, Breckwoldt K, Letuffe-Brenière D, Schaaf S, Schulz H, Neuber C, Benzin A, Werner T, Eder A, Schulze T, Klampe B, Christ T, Hirt MN, Huebner N, Moretti A, Eschenhagen T, Hansen A. Human Engineered Heart Tissue: Analysis of Contractile Force. Stem Cell Reports. 2016 Jul 12;7(1):29-42. 27211213

    Hansen A, Eder A, Bönstrup M, Flato M, Mewe M, Schaaf S, Aksehirlioglu B, Schwoerer AP, Uebeler J, Eschenhagen T. Development of a drug screening platform based on engineered heart tissue. Circ Res. 2010;107:35-44. 20448218

    Hansen A, Chen Y, Inman JM, Phan QN, Qi ZQ, Xiang CC, Palkovits M, Cherman N, Kuznetsov SA, Robey PG, Mezey E, Brownstein MJ. Sensitive and specific method for detecting G protein-coupled receptor mRNAs. Nat Methods. 2007;4:35-7. 17115035