Canadian researchers say they have found a solution to the humble condom’s fatal flaw: nanoparticles.
Condoms have a 15% failure rate, so a University of Manitoba team tried soaking condoms in a solution packed with “remarkable,” microscopic silver nanoparticles, and the treated devices appeared to kill all HIV and herpes in lab experiments, the scientists report.
“Till now, there has been no single condom with additional protection against sexually transmitted infections available on the market,” noted the group’s paper just published in the International Journal of Nanotechnology. But when their novel nanoparticle condoms contacted HIV, “the infectiousness of the virus could be completely inactivated.”
It has long been known that silver has disinfectant powers, prompting people in the early 1900s to put it in milk to stave off spoilage, and in eye drops to try to prevent infection. Its effectiveness, though, was less than reliable.