The Bouma lab research focus is on the development of novel optical instrumentation and methods that address challenges in clinical medicine and basic biological research. Light is uniquely well suited for non-invasively interrogating the microscopic structure, molecular composition, and biomechanical properties of biological tissues. Realizing these capabilities in a practical instrument requires a multidisciplinary approach, focused on specific challenges, that integrates advanced concepts from physics, engineering and materials science with biology and clinical experience. The location of our laboratory on the campus of a major clinical research hospital fosters regular interaction across these disciplinary areas.

About Our Work

Early Detection Of Precancerous Lesions And Intramucosal Cancer Of The Esophagus
We have developed several novel techniques for detecting early esophageal cancer. The most mature of these is optical frequency domain imaging (OFDI), a recent advance from optical coherence tomography. Facilitated by the high speed of OFDI, we can now image the entire distal esophagus in patients with microscopic resolution, achieving comprehensive screening for focal disease. We have additionally developed a targeted biopsy platform that utilizes this volume microscopic dataset and automatically marks areas on the esophagus that correspond to the most severe disease so that these sites may be subsequently biopsied by the endoscopist.

Detection, Characterization And Monitoring Of Coronary Atherosclerosis
Our laboratory is investigating OFDI, Raman spectroscopy, and laser speckle imaging for investigating coronary atherosclerosis. This work spans from technology development and feasibility testing through multi-center clinical studies.

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
Optical coherence tomography, Doppler OCT, polarization-sensitive OCT (PS-OCT), and OFDI are being utilized in clinical studies of the colon, liver, biliary tract, pancreas, pulmonary tract and skin. These experiments are setting the foundation for additional clinical applications for OCT.

Optical Frequency-Domain Imaging
Optical frequency-domain imaging (OFDI) was developed to overcome the limitations of optical coherence tomography and achieves a more than 50-fold improvement in image acquisition speed. Our work focuses on the continued development of OFDI and the integration of polarization sensitivity and Doppler detection methods.


Within Wellman

  • Gregory Lauwers (MGH Pathology)
  • Norm Nishioka (MGH Gastroenterology)
  • Bill Brugge (MGH Gastroenterology)
  • Peter Kelsey (MGH Gastroenterology)
  • Farouc Jaffer (MGH Cardiology)
  • Marty Leon (Columbia University)
  • Jeff Moses (Columbia University)
  • Sergio Waxman (Lahey Clinic)
  • Evelyn Regar (Erasmus Medical Center)
  • Gijs van Soest (Erasmus Medical Center)
  • Helen M. M. van Beusekom (Erasmus Medical Center)
  • Patrick Serruys (Erasmus Medical Center)
  • Rakesh Jain (Harvard Medical School)
  • Atushi Tanaka (Wakayama Medical Center)
  • William (Wang Yuhl) Oh (Korea Advanced Institute of Technology)