We have developed a new class of functional organic nanoparticles composed of liquid crystal molecules. Liquid crystal molecules provide several advantageous properties and their incorporation into nanoparticles can be utilized in the development of nanoscale smart technologies that respond to a specific external stimuli in a controlled manner. Liquid crystal molecules by their very nature provide spontaneous molecular order and self-assembly. This inherent order can be used to control the distribution of other miscible components, such as fluorescent chromophores, within the nanoparticle. In addition, the liquid crystal molecules can be designed to be responsive to external fields such as light, sound, and magnetic and electric fields. We have demonstrated the ability to manipulate the internal components of the nanoparticles using electric fields, to produce nanoparticles with macroscopic polarization, and to reversibly change the shape of nanosized particles using light. Our current efforts seek to further utilize the combination of molecular order and responsiveness to external fields to create novel multi-functional nanomaterials.