Nov. 22, 2013 -- intro:Does graphene make you feel frisky? How about polyethylene?
Both could be key components in condoms of the future.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates announced 11 finalists in his "next generation condom" competition, which he launched in March through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges in Global Health. The finalists each won $100,000 and can now apply for a follow-up grant worth up to $1 million.
Want to know what they came up with? Be prepared to get your nerd on before you get it on.
quicklist: 1 category:Next-generation condom finalists title:Tightening condom url: text: Benjamin Strutt, whose name is fitting for a condom designer, came up with a condom that "gently tighten[s] during intercourse."
quicklist: 2 category:Next-generation condom finalists title:Condom with breakage-free coating url: text: Boston University Medical Center researchers designed a condom with "super hydrophilic nanoparticle coating," which prevents breakage – and therefore helps better prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
quicklist: 3 category:Next-generation condom finalists title:Wrapping condom url: text: Imagine a male condom that works sort of like Saran Wrap. A researcher at the California Family Health Council developed a thin condom made of polyethylene that wraps and clings instead of squeezes.
quicklist: 4 category:Next-generation condom finalists title:Shape-memory condom url: text: A researcher at the University of Oregon came up with an idea that would allow the condom to respond to body temperature to retain shape, enhancing sensitivity.
quicklist: 5 category:Next-generation condom finalists title:Cheap Condom url: text: A University of Tennessee researcher came up with a material that's ultra-thin, ultra-soft, tear-resistant and strong -- and it can be injected into molds and made inexpensively. He and his team called it Superelastomer technology, and trademarked the name.