Amorphous protein aggregates can form various irregular patterns on the surface of mica, such as this curious fireworks display.
This image shows rat islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) deposited on an atomically flat mica surface. IAPP is an aggregation prone protein implicated in the pathology of Type 2 Diabetes. While rat IAPP is non-toxic, it still preferentially agglomerates in solution, forming the small globules shown. The image was acquired using atomic force microscopy, which allows us to visually track the progression of protein aggregation via height analysis.