How A Dissolvable ‘Tampon’ Could One Day Help Women Stop HIV
University of Washington bioengineers have discovered a potentially faster way to deliver a topical drug that protects women from contracting HIV. Their method spins the drug into silk-like fibers that quickly dissolve when in contact with moisture, releasing higher doses of the drug than possible with other topical materials such as gels or creams.
“This could offer women a potentially more effective, discreet way to protect themselves from HIV infection by inserting the drug-loaded materials into the vagina before sex,” said Cameron Ball, a UW doctoral student in bioengineering and lead author on a paper in the August issue of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.
The UW team previously found that electrically spun cloth could be dissolved to release drugs. These new results build upon that research, showing that the fiber materials can hold 10 times the concentration of medicine as anti-HIV gels currently under development. Read more »
This research was funded by the National Institutes of Health.
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