Safer condoms will be one of the first products developed at the new National Graphene Institute in Manchester, after being awarded with a Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Explorations grant of $100,000 to create stronger, thinner condoms from the new "wonder material," as one of the first products to be made at their new five-floor building is set to open in 2015. The project is also expected to create 100 new jobs.
Simliar money has been given to 8 research teams worldwide to develop new composite materials for condoms, which it wants to make more desirable in order to increase global usage.
Graphene, “a new wonder material” often linked to revolutionizing the construction of smartphones phone screens, food packaging and chemical sensors, will be used to create stronger, thinner condoms by the National Graphene Institute in Manchester, England.
By mixing the material with latex, the company has announced that t has successfully met a challenge by the Gates Foundation to create a better condom that would not only serve as “protection,” but also would also “preserve and enhance pleasure.”
Note: According to Bill gates, more than 15 billion condoms are produced each year, used by an estimated 750 million people.
According to Dr Papa Salif Sow, senior program officer on the Gates Foundation’s HIV team, “a redesigned condom that overcomes inconvenience, fumbling or perceived loss of pleasure would be a powerful weapon in the fight against poverty".
"If this project is successful, we might have an everyday use for graphene which will literally touch our everyday life in the most intimate way," enthused Dr Aravind Vijayaraghavan, who will lead the researchers."
In the meantime, it should be noted that Sagami Original super-thin condoms are proving very popular in Japan. Made from polyurethane, as opposed to latex, with the a thickness of .01mm. The company has also received grant money from the Gates Foundation, as has Boston University, which is looking into making condoms with a “nanoscopic” coating that would work by ‘trapping a thin film of water to reduce friction and shearing forces,” thus making them more durable.