Bio-material Condoms Made From “Tough Hydrogels” May Make Safe Sex More Pleasurable

Latex condoms may soon become a thing of the past, replaced by condoms made out of “tough hydrogels” making safe sex more pleasurable.

Researchers at the University of Wollongong are working to replace latex condoms with a biomaterial similar to the kind used in contact lenses.

According to a press release, the self-lubricated substance possesses a “stiffness similar to body tissues,” allowing it to potentially pass on greater sensitivity to the user.

These hydrogel condoms can also be made transparent and biodegradable to enable environmentally friendly disposal.

The Verge adds:

Led by Dr. Robert Gorkin, the team plans to identify potential hydrogels and a suitable “material composition” before examining their breaking strength, toughness, feel, permeability, and other properties. The researchers hope to eventually have people moving from “having to” to “wanting to” use this contraceptive method. “It’s really about us challenging our own perceptions, particularly when developing new technologies to be deployed in places like sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia,” says Gorken in a statement.

The University of Wollongong’s efforts are funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is offering grants to those aiming to create the “next generation condoms.” Should Gorkin’s team achieve its goals, it may be awarded a $1 million follow-up grant.