Optical devices such as lenses and prisms can be made from organic gels developed by Kana Sureshan and his colleagues at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Thiruvananthapuram.

They used very low concentrations of two different molecules based on the six-carbon carbohydrate mannitol to make a series of gels from hydrocarbon-based solvents such as paraffin oil and pump oil. Shapes formed from these gels were transparent and remained stable for months. The gels could filter ultraviolet light and bend visible light much like glass does. Moreover, optical devices made from the gels were shatter- and scratch-proof, thanks to the gels' ability to fuse together after being cut into pieces.