Scientists are in the final stages of developing condoms that do not rob the pleasure of sex but instead work at making you “feel good.”
Listening to the complaints of men, scientists in Australia are working on condoms that they claim will not interfere or hamper the experience. Moreover, these new condoms would, in fact, impart an added sense of pleasure to the activity, owing to the raw material used in making these special external contraceptives.
Researchers at the University of Wollongong have been given $100,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to build a better condom.
Biomedical engineer Dr Robert Gorkin received one of 52 biannual grants offered worldwide to build the “next generation condom” with the brief that it should “increase sensation” and “significantly preserves or enhances pleasure”.
And while it sounds like it’s just for fun, the logic behind the Gates Foundation grant is that if it feels good, men are more likely to wear one, thus improving birth control and reducing the spread of sexual diseases, two key problems in developing nations.
The Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations initiative has funded 11 condom projects, including US team developing an air-infused female condom that could be faster and easier to insert. Depending on the project’s success, Dr Gorkin is now in line for a follow-on grant of up to US$1 million.
The Wollongong initiative is also good news for people with a latex allergy, because Dr Gorkin and his team are working on a replacement for latex condoms using new materials called tough hydrogels.
Hydrogels can be tailored to feel, look and act more like natural skin tissue. Even more impressive is the fact that hydrogels are engineered to perform such functions like: self-lubrication, topical drug delivery and biodegradability. They already have a range of applications, from contact lenses to food products. Not only that, Hydrogel is also remarkably resilient, which may save condom from the epic failure that sometimes happens with latex.
Dr Gorkin leads a team that includes polymer scientist Dr Sina Naficy and molecular microbiologist Dr Jason McArthur.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funding has enabled us to explore new applications of our materials research that could make a genuine impact on the health and well being of people worldwide,” he said.
It’s a branding exercise as much as a scientific one. A material alone can’t change the way we look at sex, but we believe it can definitely help,” said Gorkin.
Now watch how the incredible hydrogel works!
via Science Alert and Business Insider