The following article reports on a technological innovation geared towards contraception and HIV prevention. In a nutshell, the idea is to use a diverse set of nano-fibers, each imbued with a specific drug, to weave a fabric. The fabric would then be capable of administering a controlled release of multiple compounds in the vagina — presumably killing the HIV virus and sperm. As the story suggests, the more contraceptive options, the better.
Electrically Spun Fabric Offers Dual Defense Against Pregnancy, HIV
ScienceDaily (Nov. 30, 2012) – The only way to protect against HIV and unintended pregnancy today is the condom. It’s an effective technology, but not appropriate or popular in all situations.
A University of Washington team has developed a versatile platform to simultaneously offer contraception and prevent HIV. Electrically spun cloth with nanometer-sized fibers can dissolve to release drugs, providing a platform for cheap, discrete and reversible protection. The research was published this week in the Public Library of Science’s open-access journal PLoS One. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation last month awarded the UW researchers almost $1 million to pursue the technology.
“Our dream is to create a product women can use to protect themselves from HIV infection and unintended pregnancy,” said corresponding author Kim Woodrow, a UW assistant professor of bioengineering. “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.”
To read the full article, please click here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121130095234.htm