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
- Professor of Physics
- Faculty Network Member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences
- Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
- Bass Fellow
- Office Location: 2571 CIEMAS, Durham, NC 27708
- Office Phone: (919) 660-5143
- Email Address: email@example.com
- Ph.D. Duke University, 1999
- M.A. Duke University, 1996
- B.S. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1993
Research InterestsOptical spectroscopy for early cancer detection, novel microscopy and interferometry techniques.
Awards, Honors, and Distinctions
- Fellow. American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. 2014
- Fellow. International Society for Optics and Photonics. 2010
- Fellow. Optical Society of America. 2010
- Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. National Science Foundation. 2004
- BME 436L: Biophotonic Instrumentation (DR)
- BME 493: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)
- BME 494: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)
- BME 550: Modern Microscopy (GE, IM)
- BME 551L: Biomedical Optical Spectroscopy and Tissue Optics (GE, IM)
- BME 552: Advanced Optics
- BME 791: Graduate Independent Study
- ECE 541: Advanced Optics
- EGR 393: Research Projects in Engineering
- EGR 491: Projects in Engineering
- GLHLTH 395T: Bass Connections Global Health Research Team
- GLHLTH 396T: Bass Connections Global Health Research Team
- GLHLTH 795T: Bass Connections Global Health Research Team
- GLHLTH 796T: Bass Connections Global Health Research Team
- MENG 550: Master of Engineering Internship/Project
- MENG 551: Master of Engineering Internship/Project Assessment
- MENG 552: Master of Engineering Supplemental Internship
- MOLCAN 551L: Biomedical Optical Spectroscopy and Tissue Optics (GE, IM)
- PHYSICS 621: Advanced Optics
In the News
- Follow the Ghostbusters: Crossing the Beams Brings Deeper Images Beneath the Skin (Dec 3, 2021 | Pratt School of Engineering)
- High-Speed Holography of Cells Spots Physical Beacons of Disease (Dec 1, 2021 | Pratt School of Engineering)
- Retinal Texture Could Provide Early Biomarker Of Alzheimer’s Disease (May 22, 2020 | Pratt School of Engineering)
- Observing the Joint: Duke Engineers Adapt Imaging System to Make It Useful for Minimally Invasive Surgery (Nov 15, 2019 | Pratt School of Engineering)
- Low Cost & Clinically Accurate: New Retinal Scanner Could Prevent Blindness Worldwide (Jul 1, 2019 | Pratt School of Engineering)
- A Better Way to Measure the Stiffness of Cancer Cells (Mar 2, 2017 | Pratt School of Engineering)
- Holographic Imaging and Deep Learning Diagnose Malaria (Sep 16, 2016)
- Chen, CX; Funkenbusch, GT; Wax, A, Biophysical Profiling of Sickle Cell Disease Using Holographic Cytometry and Deep Learning., International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol 24 no. 15 (2023) [10.3390/ijms241511885] [abs].
- Rancu, A; Chen, CX; Price, H; Wax, A, Multiscale optical phase fluctuations link disorder strength and fractal dimension of cell structure., Biophysical Journal, vol 122 no. 7 (2023), pp. 1390-1399 [10.1016/j.bpj.2023.03.005] [abs].
- Wax, A, OE Welcomes Our First Patent Review, Optical Engineering, vol 61 no. 12 (2022) [10.1117/1.OE.61.12.120101] [abs].
- Chu, KK; Zhao, Y; Jelly, ET; Steelman, ZA; Crose, M; Cox, B; Ofori-Marfoh, Y; Moussa, L; Cirri, H; Watts, A; Shaheen, N; Wax, A, Esophageal OCT Imaging Using a Paddle Probe Externally Attached to Endoscope., Digestive Diseases and Sciences, vol 67 no. 10 (2022), pp. 4805-4812 [10.1007/s10620-021-07372-w] [abs].
- Wax, A, To Zoom or not to Zoom?, Optical Engineering, vol 61 no. 6 (2022) [10.1117/1.OE.61.6.060101] [abs].