Contraction-by-contraction Vo2 and computer-controlled pump perfusion as novel techniques to study skeletal muscle metabolism in situ

Andrés Hernández, Matthew L. Goodwin, Nicola Lai, Marco E. Cabrera, James R. McDonald, L. Bruce Gladden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The purpose of this research was to develop new techniques to 1) rapidly sample venous O2 saturation to determine contraction-by-contraction oxygen uptake (Vo2), and 2) precisely control the rate and pattern of blood flow adjustment from one chosen steady state to another. An indwelling inline oximeter probe connected to an Oximetrix 3 meter was used to sample venous oxygen concentration ([O2]) (via fractional saturation of Hb with O2). Data from the Oximetrix 3 were filtered, deconvolved, and processed by a moving average second by second. Computer software and a program written in-house were used to control blood flow with a peristaltic pump. The isolated canine gastrocnemius muscle complex (GS) in situ was utilized to test these techniques. A step change in metabolic rate was elicited by stimulating GS muscles via their sciatic nerves (supramaximal voltage, 8 V; 50 Hz, 0.2-ms pulse width; train duration. 200 ms) at a rate of either 1 contraction/2 s, or 2 contractions/3 s. With arterial [O2] maintained constant, blood flow and calculated venous [O2] were averaged over each contraction cycle and used in the Fick equation to calculate contraction-bycontraction Vo 2. About 5-8 times more data points were obtained with this method compared with traditional manual sampling. Software-controlled pump perfusion enabled the ability to mimic spontaneous blood flow on-kinetics (τ: 14.3 s) as well as dramatically speed (τ: 2.0 s) and slow (τ: 63.3 s) on-kinetics. These new techniques significantly improve on existing methods for mechanistically altering blood flow kinetics as well as accurately measuring muscle oxygen consumption kinetics during transitions between metabolic rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-712
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood flow
  • Exercise
  • Isolated muscle
  • Oxidative metabolism
  • Oxygen uptake kinetics
  • Perfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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