Oxygen availability is regarded as a critical factor to metabolically regulate systemic blood flow. There is a debate as to how peripheral blood flow (PBF) is affected and modulated during hypoxia and hyperoxia; however in vivo evaluating of functional PBF under oxygen-related physiological perturbation remains challenging. Microscopic observation, the current frequently used imaging modality for PBF characterization often involves the use of exogenous contrast agents, which would inevitably perturb the intrinsic physiologic responses of microcirculation being investigated. In this paper, optical micro-angiography (OMAG) was employed that uses intrinsic optical scattering signals backscattered from blood flows for imaging PBF in skeletal muscle challenged by the alteration of oxygen concentration. By utilizing optical reflectance signals, we demonstrated that OMAG is able to show the response of hemodynamic activities upon acute hypoxia and hyperoxia, including the modulation of macrovascular caliber, microvascular density, and flux regulation within different sized vessels within skeletal muscle in mice in vivo. Our results suggest that OMAG is a promising tool for in vivo monitoring of functional macro- or micro-vascular responses within peripheral vascular beds.
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