Research Article

Eye patches: Protein assembly of index-gradient squid lenses

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Science  11 Aug 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6351, pp. 564-569
DOI: 10.1126/science.aal2674

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Squid lenses beat spherical aberration

When light rays pass through a curved lens, greater refraction at the edges can distort the resulting image. This problem can be overcome if the refractive index of the lens is varied according to the curvature. Cai et al. show that the lenses of squid eyes have an internal structure containing a set of globular proteins that form a gradient of colloidal particles to counter spherical aberration (see the Perspective by Madl). Thus, the evolutionary process has used the principles of patchy colloid theory to construct a self-assembling, complex optical device.

Science, this issue p. 564; see also p. 546