Bentzen Group - Cardiac Pharmacology

Our group works to understand the role of ion channels in health and disease. Our main focus is to understand the mechanism of cardiac arrhythmia and to find new opportunities for treatment of these.








Ion channels are found in virtually all living organisms, including viruses, plants and in most cell types of the human body. They have key physiological functions such as allowing the heart to beat, regulating release of hormones, controlling sperm cell function and promoting viral proliferation. Not surprisingly, ion channel are one of the top therapeutic drug targets.
Our group works on deciphering the role of ion channels in health and disease. We use a broad range of model systems ranging from electrophysiological recordings on single cells to isolated perfused organs/tissues and recordings on small and large animals.

Our work focuses on cardiac arrhythmia and validating new ion channel drug targets for treatment of these. To accomplish this we employ different strategies to generate cardiac disease models. We successfully work with models of cardiac ischemia, sophisticated large animal models of atrial fibrillation and more. In addition, our broad interest, technical expertise in ion channel physiology, and deep interest in applying our knowledge to discover new therapeutic strategies has also allowed us to join projects on e.g. new male contraceptives, anti-viral treatments and red blood cell diseases.

We foster innovation and collaboration, and are always interesting in setting up new partnerships. It motivates us. Examples of these are 1) Joined project with the Niels Bohr Institute on developing new diagnostic tools for fetal arrhythmia detection and mapping of cardiac fibrosis using quantum sensors. 2) Investigating the role of SK channels in atrial fibrillation. This concept has later been pushed forward to clinical development by the private partner.













  • Two-electrode voltage-clamp
  • Patch clamping
  • Automated patch clamping (QPatch) for drug screen on cell cultures and primary cells
  • Sharp electrode and multi-electrode recordings of action potentials

In vitro

  • Primary cell isolation and culturing
  • Cell proliferation assays
  • Calcium assays

Ex vivo

  • Isolated perfused heart preparations
  • Optical mapping

In vivo

  • Sophisticated tachypaced models of atrial fibrillation
  • Electrophysiology (ECG and effective refractory period measurements)
  • Zebrafish recordings







In general our projects focus on understanding the role of ion channels in health and disease. The projects are often performed in collaboration with the other groups who are experts in biochemistry, molecular biology, imaging, and genetics. This ensures that we have all necessary expertise.
Examples of projects:

  • Novel treatments of atrial fibrillation - A collaborative project between Acesion Pharma and us, funded by the Innovation Fund Denmark
  • Role of ion channels in cardiac fibrosis
  • Electroanatomical exploration of pulmonary veins sleeve myocardium in the development of atrial fibrillation
  • Examining the effect of genetic mutations in inherited arrhythmic diseases
  • PUFAs and Long-QT syndrome
  • Quantum sensors for detecting fetal arrhythmia and fibrosis
  • Targeting CatSper ion channels for male contraception
  • Viroporins



Bo Hjorth Bentzen gives lectures and classroom teaching within the subjects cardiovascular physiology, kidney physiology, pharmacology and drug discovery, in the study programs medicine, human biology and pharmacy.
He is also involved in postgraduate teaching and is course director of the PhD course “Innovation” and a course in “Translational Tools”.
Bo Hjorth Bentzen also supervises both bachelor, master, ERASMUS students, PhD students and post-doctoral fellows.

Available positions

We are constantly looking for highly motivated Bachelor and Master students. We would also like to hear from excellent candidates for PhD and postdoc positions. Please contact Bo Hjorth Bentzen,











































Group leader Bo Hjorth Bentzen

Group Leader

Bo Hjorth Bentzen
Associate Professor

+45 35330797

ORCID: 0000-0002-0253-4992

Group members

Name Title Phone E-mail
Amer Mujezinovic Laboratory Technician +4522344174 E-mail
Anders Aagaard Rehfeld Guest Researcher +4535333592 E-mail
Bo Hjorth Bentzen Associate Professor +4535330797 E-mail
Emma Helena Meibom PhD Fellow   E-mail
Jonas Goldin Diness Guest Researcher   E-mail
Lea Abildgaard Jensen External Researcher   E-mail
Sofia Hammami Bomholtz Postdoc +4535330749 E-mail