Skeletal muscle optoacoustics reveals patterns of circulatory function and oxygen metabolism during exercise

Angelos Karlas, Nikolina Alexia Fasoula, Nikoletta Katsouli, Michael Kallmayer, Sabine Sieber, Sebastian Schmidt, Evangelos Liapis, Martin Halle, Hans Henning Eckstein, Vasilis Ntziachristos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Imaging skeletal muscle function and metabolism, as reported by local hemodynamics and oxygen kinetics, can elucidate muscle performance, severity of an underlying disease or outcome of a treatment. Herein, we used multispectral optoacoustic tomography (MSOT) to image hemodynamics and oxygen kinetics within muscle during exercise. Four healthy volunteers underwent three different hand-grip exercise challenges (60s isometric, 120s intermittent isometric and 60s isotonic). During isometric contraction, MSOT showed a decrease of HbO2, Hb and total blood volume (TBV), followed by a prominent increase after the end of contraction. Corresponding hemodynamic behaviors were recorded during the intermittent isometric and isotonic exercises. A more detailed analysis of MSOT readouts revealed insights into arteriovenous oxygen differences and muscle oxygen consumption during all exercise schemes. These results demonstrate an excellent capability of visualizing both circulatory function and oxygen metabolism within skeletal muscle under exercise, with great potential implications for muscle research, including relevant disease diagnostics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100468
StatePublished - Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Hemodynamics
  • MSOT
  • Metabolic imaging
  • Multispectral optoacoustic tomography
  • Musculoskeletal physiology
  • Oxygenation
  • Photoacoustics


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