Please read this story about a mixed team of experts from disciplines including biology, chemistry, physics, engineering and materials science that found a fertile intersection between nature and advanced industrial processes.
Short description: Knowledge of a micro-organism, the single-celled diatom, may make the manufacture of products like cosmetics, paints, fabrics, credit card holograms, cheaper and greener. The hard shell of the organism is iridescent; it displays vivid colours that change depending on the angle at which it is observed. Manufacturing material with these properties is complicated, expensive and energy consuming, but scientists now believe that diatom shells can be farmed on industrial scale.
It seems that shell structures in nature have a lot to offer. Compare this case with Dan Edelsteins's solution for the manufacturing of the next generation of microchips.