With Valentine's Day on the horizon, we bring you good news this week from the world of prophylactic technology.
Researchers in Australia say they've developed a better, thinner and stronger condom by incorporating materials from ... well, from a spiky Australian prairie grass.
Sex Toys: Tasty Tech Eye Candy Gets Frisky
Spiky grass doesn't sound like that great of an idea, condom-wise, but the University of Queensland research team assures us that the relevant materials will actually make condoms more comfortable. In fact, the new condoms could potentially be thinner than a human hair, without any loss in strength or durability.
The new technique involves extracting a certain kind of nanocellulose from spinifex grass, common in Australia, and using it as an additive in latex. Tests have revealed that the cellulose material works on the microscopic level to significantly strengthen latex formulations used in condoms and gloves.
"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," says researcher Darren Martin in press materials accompanying the announcement.