Detection of Motor Endplates in Deep and Pennate Skeletal Muscles in-vivo using Ultrafast Ultrasound

Christoph Leitner*, Sergei Vostrikov, Harald Penasso, Pascal A. Hager, Andrea Cossettini, Luca Benini, Christian Baumgartner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


Until now direct localization of motor endplates for any arbitrary muscle structure was reserved to cadaver studies or restricted to specific muscles in-vivo. Utilizing ultrafast ultrasound we report a versatile in-vivo method for
the detection of motor endplate zones. To achieve this goal, we employ a research ultrasound system with a linear array transducer probe to record ultrasound images of electricallystimulated medial gastrocnemius muscles. An optical flow speckle tracking algorithm is used to track the points along a single
fascicle. We localize motor endplates at intersection points where mechanical contraction waves diverge bidirectionally towards the fiber ends. Contrary to common experimental methods, our proposed ultrafast ultrasound-based approach allows to localize motor endplates also in deep and pennate muscles in-vivo. These results open up new applications for ultrasound in neuromuscular
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIUS 2020 - International Ultrasonics Symposium, Proceedings
Place of PublicationLas Vegas, USA
PublisherIEEE Xplore
ISBN (Electronic)9781728154480
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2020
EventIEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium 2020 - Las Vegas, United States
Duration: 6 Sep 202011 Sep 2020

Publication series

NameIEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS
ISSN (Print)1948-5719
ISSN (Electronic)1948-5727


ConferenceIEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium 2020
Abbreviated titleIEEE IUS 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLas Vegas


  • High frame rate
  • In-vivo
  • Motor endplate band
  • Motor neuron
  • Muscle contraction
  • Muscle fascicle
  • Pennate muscle
  • Ultrasonic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

Fields of Expertise

  • Human- & Biotechnology


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