Dissolvable nanofabric could be a popular solution for women's sexual health
The new contraceptives are made by a process called electrospinning, which involves creating fibers from liquid inside of an electric field to affect certain properties like shape, solubility and strength. According to FierceDrugDelivery.com, the stretchy fabric is also reinforced with a series of small-molecule drugs, proteins and antibodies that can build up a woman's resistance to certain STDs as well as deliver anti-HIV drugs.
"Our dream is to create a product women can use to protect themselves from HIV infection and unwanted pregnancy," said Kim Woodrow of the University of Washington. "We have the drugs to do that. It's really about delivering them in a way that makes them more potent and allows a woman to want to use it."
This discovery has been made possible by a $1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which believes that the product could prove to be invaluable in preventing HIV and other forms of STDs in Africa and other underdeveloped nations. Howver, while the initial aim of the contraceptive is to lower STD rates in these impoverished parts of the world, it may eventually find its way to developed countries.
Similar to other contraceptive products that are worn inside of a woman's body, the problem remains whether or not individuals will use it before sex and how to make this a more attractive option than traditional measures.