Nature oversees a vast array of amazing shapes formed by organisms such as plants, fungi and animals. Some of these manifest as intricate patterns in structures like coral and the nests of insects and birds. Associate Professor Ayae Sugawara-Narutaki, from the Department of Materials Chemistry at Nagoya University, Japan has a particular interest in these patterns. Sugawara-Narutaki's team focuses on research inspired by these self-organised nanostructures to develop nanomaterials for a variety of health-related applications. The ability of these nanomaterials to self-assemble and self-organise in a liquid phase has attracted a great deal of interest from materials scientists the world over.