In Brief

Researchers at University of Wollongong are working on a more pleasurable-feeling condom made out of the stuff associated with contact lenses

After receiving a grant of $100,000 last summer, researchers at the University of Wollongong in Australia are on a mission to create a new breed of condom. The grant, by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which funds innovative ideas that address challenges in global health, has enabled Dr. Robert Gorkin, the project lead, and his team of materials and microbiology experts to explore the usefulness of hydrogels in prophylactics.

Tough hydrogels are not new technology in themselves—they are used in contacts for instance—but are being applied to the world of sexual health to see if their skin-like capabilities can create a better condom. While the project looks to increase the uptake of condom usage in places such as Africa, Gorkin says that the research also wants to make the condom experience better for everyone on the whole. He told PSFK via email:

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