A team has developed micro-rockets that can neutralise chemical and biological weapons.
Powered by seawater, the micrometre-sized rockets are capable of degrading agents like anthrax and sarin.
The rockets can "swim" in contaminated samples to decompose them, before eventually self-degrading.
Published in journal ACS Nano, the team says the technology could also decontaminate environmental waste.
"It needs no external stimuli, just expose it to seawater, it then generates a bubble and moves around. In the past, people needed external fuel but here we use seawater as the fuel," explained Joseph Wang at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), who was involved in developing the rockets.
Prof Wang said it could degrade both biological weapons and nerve agents like sarin, commonly used as weapons in the Middle East.
"Our rockets can protect against these, faster, cheaper and using less reagents," he told BBC News.
The rocket is made from magnesium coated with titanium dioxide. A small eye-like opening exposes the magnesium which reacts with the seawater causing a "bubble propulsion" effect which powers it forward.
Rockets destroy chemical weapons
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