scorecardThese 11 Innovative Condoms Just Got Grants From The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
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These 11 Innovative Condoms Just Got Grants From The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

These 11 Innovative Condoms Just Got Grants From The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
LifeScience2 min read

Out of 812 submissions to a contest intended to create the condom of the future, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation chose 11 winners.

The foundation said it wanted to create a new generation of condoms "that significantly preserve or enhance pleasure." That way, guys will actually want to wear condoms and, in theory, the global rates of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections will decrease.

Each winner received $100,000 to pursue their designs.

Check them out below:

  • Heat conducting condom infused with antibacterial drugs: Graphene is a thin, crystalline form of carbon that's highly elastic and can conduct heat. Lakshminarayanan Ragupathy of HLL Lifecare Ltd. in India will produce condoms using graphene-based polymer composites.
  • Elastic condom: Using a new composite of elastic materials, a team from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom proposes a condom that will feel more like skin-to-skin contact.
  • Self-tightening condom: Layering multiple polymers allows the condom to gently tighten during intercourse. The material will put less pressure on the skin and increase sensation at key moments. A team from Cambridge Design Partnership in the United Kingdom is designing it.
  • Mucous condom: A team from Northwestern University will create a new polymeric material that mimics the properties of mucosal tissue, essentially what your bodily mucous membranes already feel like. Thus, a very natural feeling during intercourse.
  • Break-resistant condom: A nanoparticle coating helps prevent condom breakage. The coating, developed by researchers at Boston University Medical Center, works by trapping a thin layer of water to reduce friction and tearing forces.
  • Shape memory condom: Body heat will quickly fix the shape of the condom to the individual wearer. Researchers at the University of Oregon will tailor condoms with polyurethane linear and elastomeric materials, both of which will improve tactility and increase sensitivity.
  • Wrapping condom: The California Family Health Council will make condoms that wrap and cling around the wearer instead of squeezing him. The non-toxic and hypoallergenic polyethylene condoms will also come with enhanced lubrication through a collaboration with a Colombian condom manufacturer.
  • Superelastomer condom:Superelastomer technology allows condoms to be made ultra-thin, ultra-soft, strong and tear resistant. It also has a low-cost production method which will encourage use in developing countries. Researchers at the University of Tennessee will develop it.
  • Cow tendon condom: Collagen fibers from cows' Achilles tendons, and possibly fish skin, will give the wearer more of a skin-to-skin feel with his partner. The materials in the condom, developed by researchers at Apex Medical Technologies in San Diego, will enhance strength and sensitivity.
  • The Rapidom: A condom with applicators attached to make putting it on possible with a single motion. Produced by Kimbranox Ltd. in South Africa, it makes application easier and, most importantly, helps get the condom on the right way. Putting the condom on inside-out, then reversing the direction, exposes a guy's partner to his pre-ejaculatory fluids and increases the risk for pregnancy and disease.
  • Condom Applicator Pack: A team from House of Petite Pty. Ltd. in Australia will build an applicator separate from the condom but sold in the same package. It's meant to keep the condom away from the wearer's hands, which can spread disease, and ensure the condom is put on in the right direction.