Adam P Wax

Adam P. Wax

Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Wax's research interests include optical spectroscopy for early cancer detection, novel microscopy and interferometry techniques.

The study of intact, living cells with optical spectroscopy offers the opportunity to observe cellular structure, organization and dynamics in a way that is not possible with traditional methods. We have developed a set of novel spectroscopic techniques for measuring spatial, temporal and refractive structure on sub-hertz and sub-wavelength scales based on using low-coherence interferometry (LCI) to detect scattered light. We have applied these techniques in different types of cell biology experiments. In one experiment, LCI measurements of the angular pattern of backscattered light are used to determine non-invasively the structure of sub-cellular organelles in cell monolayers, and the components of epithelial tissue from freshly excised rat esophagus. This work has potential as a diagnostic method for early cancer detection. In another experiment, LCI phase measurements are used to examine volume changes of epithelial cells in a monolayer in response to environmental osmolarity changes. Although cell volume changes have been measured previously, this work demonstrates for the first time the volume of just a few cells (2 or 3) tracked continuously and in situ.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Faculty Network Member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences

Contact Information

Education

  • Ph.D. Duke University, 1999
  • M.A. Duke University, 1996
  • B.S. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1993

Research Interests

Dr. Wax's research interests include optical spectroscopy for early cancer detection, novel microscopy and interferometry techniques.

Specialties

Photonics
Medical Imaging
Cancer diagnostics and therapy
Sensing and Sensor Systems

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Fellow. International Society for Optics and Photonics. 2010
  • Fellows. Optical Society of America. 2010

Courses Taught

  • BME 494: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)
  • BME 550: Modern Microscopy (GE, IM)
  • BME 590: Advanced Topics in Biomedical Engineering
  • BME 701S: BME Graduate Seminars
  • BME 702S: BME Graduate Seminars
  • BME 728S: Teaching Seminar for New Teaching Assistants
  • BME 729S: Teaching seminar for repeat teaching assistants
  • BME 789: Internship in Biomedical Engineering
  • BME 791: Graduate Independent Study
  • BME 899: Special Readings in Biomedical Engineering
  • MENG 550: Master of Engineering Internship/Project
  • MENG 551: Master of Engineering Internship/Project Assessment
  • PHYSICS 493: Research Independent Study

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Kim, S; Heflin, S; Kresty, LA; Halling, M; Perez, LN; Ho, D; Crose, M; Brown, W; Farsiu, S; Arshavsky, V; Wax, A, Analyzing spatial correlations in tissue using angle-resolved low coherence interferometry measurements guided by co-located optical coherence tomography., Biomedical Optics Express, vol 7 no. 4 (2016), pp. 1400-1414 [abs].
  • Eldridge, WJ; Sheinfeld, A; Rinehart, MT; Wax, A, Imaging deformation of adherent cells due to shear stress using quantitative phase imaging., Optics Letters, vol 41 no. 2 (2016), pp. 352-355 [abs].
  • Rinehart, MT; Park, HS; Walzer, KA; Chi, JT; Wax, A, Hemoglobin consumption by P. falciparum in individual erythrocytes imaged via quantitative phase spectroscopy., Scientific Reports, vol 6 (2016) [abs].
  • Chowdhury, S; Eldridge, WJ; Wax, A; Izatt, JA, Spatial frequency-domain multiplexed microscopy for simultaneous, single-camera, one-shot, fluorescent, and quantitative-phase imaging., Optics Letters, vol 40 no. 21 (2015), pp. 4839-4842 [abs].
  • Zhao, Y; Maher, JR; Kim, J; Selim, MA; Levinson, H; Wax, A, Evaluation of burn severity in vivo in a mouse model using spectroscopic optical coherence tomography., Biomedical Optics Express, vol 6 no. 9 (2015), pp. 3339-3345 [abs].