The approach used by Materials Science and Engineering is revealing new aspects in the structure and properties of biological materials. The integration of advanced characterization, mechanical testing, and modeling methods can rationalize heretofore unexplained aspects of these structures. As an illustration of the power of this methodology, we apply it to biomineralized shells, avian beaks and feathers, and fish scales. We also present a few selected bioinspired applications: Velcro, an Al2O3-PMMA composite inspired by the abalone shell, and synthetic attachment devices inspired by gecko.
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