In this article, recent progress in cardiotoxicity testing based on the use of immortalized cell lines or human embryonic stem cell (hESC) derived cardiomyocytes in combination with state-of-the-art bioanalytical methods and sensors is reviewed. The focus is on hESC-derived cells and their refinement into competent testing cells, but the access and utility of other relevant cell types are also discussed. Recent developments in sensor techniques and bioanalytical approaches for measuring critical cardiotoxicity parameters are highlighted, together with aspects of data evaluation and validation. Finally, recommendations for further research are given. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.