New Condom Promises to Prevent Pregnancy, Deliver an Anti-HIV drug, Then Dissolve

A team at the University of Washington appears to have revolutionized birth control. The approach involves both a new way of producing fiber and a new way of delivering drugs. The upshot of it all is a, potential, new condom that could be used by either men or women, that prevents HIV and pregnancy and that disappears on its own when it has completed it's task.

From the University of Washington:
"They first dissolved polymers approved by the Food and Drug Administration and antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV to create a gooey solution that passes through a syringe. As the stream encounters the electric field it stretches to create thin fibers measuring 100 to several thousand nanometers that whip through the air and eventually stick to a collecting plate (one nanometer is about one 25-millionth of an inch). The final material is a stretchy fabric that can physically block sperm or release chemical contraceptives and antivirals…One of the fabrics they made dissolves within minutes, potentially offering users immediate, discrete protection against unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases."

The full paper from the research team "Drug-Eluting Fibers for HIV-1 Inhibition and Contraception" can be found at the peer-reviewed journal PLOS one
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