Collage of Liquid Crystal Gemstones (image) University of Pennsylvania Caption Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Swarthmore College describe new research into a type of liquid crystal that dissolves in water rather than avoids it as do the oily liquid crystals found in displays. This property means that these liquid crystals hold potential for biomedical applications, where their changing internal patterns could signal the presence of specific proteins or other biological macromolecules. These patterns are dependent on the concentration of liquid crystal molecules inside water droplets; at very high concentrations, they pull on the surface of the drop, deforming it from a sphere into these faceted gemstone shapes. Credit University of Pennsylvania. Usage Restrictions None Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.