Making Condoms <30µm by Improving Properties of Natural Latex Emulsion
James Zhijun Lu of Regenex Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. in China will reduce the thickness of natural latex condoms to enhance sensitivity during use. Current condom thickness is dictated by the relative strength of the material, which must be maintained to prevent disease transmission and unwanted pregnancies. However, thicker condoms inhibit sensation during use. Natural latex is weakened below a thickness of 40?m, mainly due to the formation of different sized aggregates in emulsion. To enable the production of thinner condoms, they will analyze whether optimizing the ratio of these aggregates can increase the strength of natural latex, and develop a new centrifugation process to remove aggregates during condom manufacture. They will also identify conditions, such as temperature, that may inhibit aggregate formation to further reduce thickness while retaining strength.