From Atoms to Devices 6 LIQUID CRYSTALS Liquid crystals are a state of matter between crystalline solids and liquids. They have an orderly structure like a crystal, but their properties can be changed by mechanical or electrical force – a property which has been harnessed into responsive and colourful TV and smartphone displays. Leeds researchers are developing liquid crystals which will make old eyes young again. As we age, the lens in our eye stiffens, and can no longer bring close objects into focus. But our liquid crystal lens implants could restore the ability to focus dynamically, opening the possibility of permanently rejuvenating vision and changing the lives of those whose sight is clouded by cataracts. Your support could be critical in moving from a working prototype to a clinical trial. DIABETES MONITORING For the three million people in the UK living with Type-1 Diabetes, blood glucose levels are critical and must be continually monitored by pricking their fingers, squeezing drops of blood onto test strips, and processing the results with glucometers. It can be uncomfortable, messy and must be repeated several times every day. But we have shown the possibility of measuring glucose by shining a laser through the skin. Our researchers have produced a nano-engineered silica glass with ions that glow in infrared light when hit with a low power laser. When the glass is in contact with the skin, the fluorescence varies depending on the concentration of glucose, allowing blood-sugar levels to be calculated without the need for a needle. With your help, we will harness this technology into a cheap and user-friendly device.