Consider: the best minds in science and engineering are trying to approach the capabilities of bacteria.
The smaller a design, the harder it may be to detect. But miniature designs can inspire awe more than large ones.
From back when I was a sophomore taking biochemistry, one particular event stands out in my memory, perhaps because it was such an odd thing.
One of the reasons cockroaches are so successful is their keen sense of smell.
Almost every phylum of life provides inspiration for engineers and inventors.