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Using Materials Science to Stop HIV Sexual Transmission

Patrick Kiser of the University of Utah in the U.S. will design a vaginal gel that blocks HIV by becoming impermeable in response to the pH change induced by the presence of semen, and includes a polymer engineered to bind to HIV surface proteins to halt viral transport to susceptible tissues and HIV target cells. In this project's Phase I research, Kiser and his team engineered a synthetic polymer that has many of the properties of mucus, and demonstrated that the polymers slow or stops the movement of cells in the presence of semen. In Phase II, Kiser will focus on developing a pericoital contraceptive gel that will prevent the movement of spermatozoa into the uterus.

More information about Create New Ways to Prevent or Cure HIV Infection (Round 2)

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View the Grand Challenges partnership network

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Grand Challenges partnership network. Visit www.grandchallenges.org to view the map of awarded grants across this network and grant opportunities from partners.