SEATTLE, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle awarded $100,000 each to British and South Africa firms to design a better male condom and condom applicator.
Benjamin Strutt and a team from Cambridge Design Partnership in England will design a male condom out of a composite material that will provide a universal fit and is designed to gently tighten during intercourse, enhancing sensation and reliability, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said in a statement.
Willem van Rensburg of Kimbranox Ltd. in South Africa will test a condom application the Rapidom, which is designed for easy, technique-free application of male condoms. Kimbranox will test an applicator designed to be applied with one motion, thereby minimizing interruption.
"Beyond the polyurethane male and female condom inventions of the mid 1990s, few step-change or widely adopted improvements have been made to the generic design since the early 20th century when the dipped latex process was pioneered. To achieve cost effective construction, the obvious traditional design trade-off is between enough elasticity to provide a secure, robust, universal fit, while trying to minimize interference with natural sensation,"Strutt said in a statement.
"Our proposal is for a revised construction that hopes to challenge these apparent conflicts.