The thing about condoms is that people really don’t like using them. Apparently, only 5% of men worldwide wear them. So, researchers at the University of Queensland’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology have developed a new latex technology, known as the ‘Holy Grail’ of condom technology.
The latex was developed in partnership with the local Indjalandji-Dhidhanu People and incorporates molecular fibres extracted from native spinifex grass, making these condoms ultra-strong and 30% thinner than standard alternatives. In early tests (in which condoms are inflated until they burst), the new condoms withstood 20% more pressure than the control sample.
In an aim to remove the stigma of condoms and enhance pleasure, rather than decrease it, the team of scientists behind the spinifex condom believe it will open the door for manufacturers to start marketing thin and satisfying contraceptive products that customers will actually want to use – rather than just focusing on strength.
The team is preparing to license the technology to the multi-billion-dollar latex industry, where it could potentially move into the field of surgery e.g. stronger and more sensitive gloves for surgeons. The university has also signed an agreement with the Dugalunji Aboriginal Corporation so that those whose knowledge of spinifex resin formed the basis of the latex technology are part of its commercialization. Nice one.