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In the present contribution, a novel conceptual approach is proposed to use plasmonic resonances for realizing materials, components and devices that may overcome the classical physical limitations at infrared and optical frequencies. Specifically, reversing the idea of using plasmonic particles in a dielectric lattice, here we propose the use of an ε-negative (ENG) background with properly designed resonant dielectric or hollow voids as an effective solution for realizing sub-wavelength cavities, sub-diffraction transmission lines and left-handed (double-negative) optical metamaterials. As we show in the following, and more extensively during the talk, this approach may allow a more viable and effective realization of these components for various physical and technological reasons. The availability of low-loss ENG materials in nature (i.e., noble metals such as silver or gold, and polar dielectrics) at these frequencies allows possibilities for practical realizations of the proposed setups, with numerous potential applications in optics, imaging, and the other related applied fields that can benefit from these advances.