No, it doesn't.
My main problem with filters was that when the fish swam too close to the intake, their fins would get sucked up and torn.
This sponge avoids that, it slows the water flow and gives the bacteria another place to grow if your tank is cycled. To get rid of the large particles it accumulates I just rinse it a little in old tank water during changes. It's equivalent to rinsing your filter cartdrige during water canges, except I don't do have to do that anymore because the sponge catches everything.
I'm not saying its THE way to go but it's worked perfectly for me.