Adam P. Wax
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Professor of Physics (Secondary)
Faculty Network Member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences
Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
Dr. Wax's research interests include optical spectroscopy for early cancer detection, novel microscopy and
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.
Braun, Kelly E., et al. “Label-free measurement of microbicidal gel thickness using low-coherence interferometry.” Journal of Biomedical Optics, vol. 11, no. 2, Mar. 2006, p. 020504. Epmc, doi:10.1117/1.2192767. Full Text
Pyhtila, John W., et al. “Fourier-domain angle-resolved low coherence interferometry through an endoscopic fiber bundle for light-scattering spectroscopy.” Optics Letters, vol. 31, no. 6, Mar. 2006, pp. 772–74. Epmc, doi:10.1364/ol.31.000772. Full Text
Curry, A., et al. “Measurement system for the high-throughput characterization of metal nanoparticles for biosensors.” Optics Infobase Conference Papers, Jan. 2006.
Chou, D. R., and A. P. Wax. “Optical scattering of confocal laser scanning reflectance microscopy in turbid media.” Optics Infobase Conference Papers, Jan. 2006.
Pyhtila, J. W., et al. “Endoscopic fourier-domain angle-resolved low coherence interferometry for assessing nuclear morphology in human epithelial tissues.” Optics Infobase Conference Papers, Jan. 2006.
Curry, A., and A. Wax. “Epi-illumination darkfield through a microscope objective for imaging and spectral analysis of nanoparticle interaction with cells in culture.” Optics Infobase Conference Papers, Jan. 2006.
“Improved design of a heterodyne angle-resolved low coherence interferometry system used for new chemoprevention and carcinogenesis studies.” Optics Infobase Conference Papers, Jan. 2006.
Braun, K. E., and A. Wax. “Improved simulations for measuring microbicidal gel thickness using low-coherence interferometry.” Optics Infobase Conference Papers, Jan. 2006.
Boyer, J. D., et al. “Multi-layer scattering tissue phantom for assessing angle-resolved low coherence interferometryprecancer diagnostic technique.” Optics Infobase Conference Papers, Jan. 2006.
Braun, K. E., et al. “Quantitative characterization of spectrograph entrance slit width on roll-off of fourier domain optical coherence tomography signals.” Optics Infobase Conference Papers, Jan. 2006.