A team of scientists at Australia’s University of Queensland (UQ) have created a revolutionary condom, as thin as a human hair made from the native spinifex grass, according to a press release from the university.

Researchers from the university say they have “developed a method of extracting nanocellulose – which can be used as an additive in latex production – from the grass”.

The end result is a super thin condom, which could be an acceptable alternative for many, and may efficiently help prevent HIV, STIs and unplanned pregnancy while enhancing sexual pleasure.

The nanocellulose extracted from the grass is used as an additive in latex production. Photo: Death and Taxes Magazine

The nanocellulose extracted from the grass is used as an additive in latex production Photo: Death and Taxes Magazine

According to Professor Darren Martin from UQ’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN), the spinifex nanocellulose significantly improved the physical properties of latex.

“The great thing about our nanocellulose is that it’s a flexible nano-additive, so we can make a stronger and thinner membrane that is supple and flexible, which is the holy grail for natural rubber,” Professor Martin said.

Following a series of burst tests, the grass-based condom performed significantly better than other commercial latex condoms sampled and with more refinement, Professor Martin believes that they can engineer a latex condom that’s about 30 per cent thinner. The nanocellulose technology could also be used to make thinner gloves, which could assist surgeons, Professor Martin noted.

The condom is yet to hit the market and the scientists at the university believe the wide ranging benefits of the nanocellulose technology would interest latex manufacturers across the world.

Source: University of Queensland