Biochemist invents new ‘skin-like’ condom

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Shengxi Chen working on his new condom at ASU.

Did you know condoms have been in use for hundreds of years? Yet they’ve undergone very little technological improvements in the last 50 years.

At least that was the case, until now.

A biochemist at Arizona State University has invented what he calls a stronger and more comfortable condom, reported KPHO

Senghxi Chen has been working on the project at ASU for the last two years after he was one of only a handful of biochemists across the country chosen by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to build a better condom. The foundation hopes that by making a condom that significantly improves or enhances pleasure, it will increase condom use, which in turn will lower unwanted pregnancies, STD cases and HIV infections globally.

“We are trying to increase the rate of people who use that (condoms),” Chen said.

According to Chen, some estimates put global condom use at only five percent, while there are 2.5 million new HIV infections ever year.

Chen’s condom is still made of latex like a classic condom but adds new materials.

“We mimic the condition of human cells,” Chen said.

His design is not only stronger than the average condom (through air pressure tests) but it’s what he calls, “more skin-like.”

Human skin has a lot of water, and current commercial condoms repel water. But Chen’s condom likes water. It’s eight times more hydrophilic.

“That’s why we call it skin-like,” Chen said.

Chen hopes his new condom not only adds or maintains pleasure between couples around the world but he hopes it lowers STD and HIV infections globally.

Chen has a patent on his condom and has created a new small business called Joys LLC.

Next, he needs to raise funds for clinical trials and FDA approval. It’s a process that can be long and hard, but he remains optimistic.

“I think it should be no problem, to pass all the tests,” Chen said.

The Food and Drug Administration’s approval process can take up to two years.

Right now, Chen is trying to secure funding. To learn more, you can contact him at ASU.