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Dissolving female condom that protects against HIV

Written by Admin |Updated : December 12, 2012 8:25 AM IST

Researchers have developed a female condom which they claim can protect against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV by dissolving inside the body and releasing chemicals. Besides blocking the sperm, the condom could time-release a potent mix of anti-HIV drugs and hormonal contraceptives, the 'Daily Mail' reported.

Experts claim the 'discreet protection' can safeguard people from HIV and unwanted pregnancy by 'melting' inside the body. Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) developed the condom from tiny microfibres through a method called 'electrospinning' . The cloth-like fibres can be woven from medicine into extremely thin 'webs' . They are then designed to dissolve after use, either within minutes or over several days. The team was given $1 million to develop the technology, which uses an electric field to charge fluid through air to create the very fine , nanometre-sized fibres . 'Our dream is to create a product women can use to protect themselves from HIV and unintended pregnancy,' Kim Woodrow, a UW assistant professor of bioengineering, said.

'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,' Woodrow said. 'This method allows controlled release of multiple compounds. We were able to tune the fibres to have different release properties ,' co-author Cameron Ball said.

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With inputs from IANS

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