Fighter pilots are able to release decoys when being shot at, directing the missiles away from their target. There is no reason to try to destroy the missiles themselves, a much more difficult proposition for engineers. In medicine, the opposite approach has reigned supreme, that of trying to kill the pathogens themselves. Now researches at University of California, San Diego have developed nanoparticles that attract and absorb toxins, such as those released by infectious pathogens. These “nanosponges” are made out of a biodegradable polymer coated with a red blood cell membrane.
Here’s a National Science Foundation video with the research team showing off the new technology: