Bio-inspired design combines principles from physics, chemistry, biology and engineering to create artificial materials with functionalities that rival those of biological systems, paving the way for the next generation of smart materials. An emerging technology for making these advanced materials is self-assembly, a process that builds organized structures without external direction. Bottom-up fabrication of this kind has been demonstrated for a variety of advanced materials. Although promising, it is still rare to find this technology on a production line because current error rates and production timescales of typical self-assembly processes are not compatible with high-rate fabrication of elaborate designs. Looking at biology, the efficacy of all molecular processes is improved by catalysis. In this talk I will discuss our efforts in designing, from the bottom-up, catalysts capable of cleaving bonds.