Sperm caught in a nanofiber mesh.

University of WashingtonSperm caught in a nanofiber mesh.

Condoms! We love you! Now go away.

Seriously, condoms are great for public health and for controlling how many babies you want to have, but they’ve got a LOT of room for improvement. They’re messy, they’re a pain to use, and some people are allergic to latex. Which is why researchers at the University of Washington are trying to improve the prophylactic paradigm, replacing the humble cocksheath with a space-age nano-fabric that’s actually woven out of medication.

These hypercondoms would be made of electrically spun fabric — electrospinning makes for incredibly fine threads. The fibers are so small and so easy to manipulate that they can be used to carry medications, more efficiently than other delivery methods. You could electrically spin nanofibers made out of polymer, chemical contraceptives, and anti-STD meds, and then weave them into a barrier that would be able to block sperm, destroy it, neutralize any extant germs, and then dissolve in a puff of vagina-smoke.

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It all sounds pretty space-age — a discreet, versatile, self-disposing, use-as-needed method for contraception and disease prevention. And indeed, commercial application of this technology is way in the future. But we’re glad to know someone is trying to improve on the condom with something besides for-her-pleasure ridges and artificial strawberry flavor.

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