The winners of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation contest to create a condom that men will actually use includes condoms made of fish skin and cow tendon.
Eleven winners were announced Wednesday, each receiving $100,000 to develop their ideas in a bid to win a $1 million grand prize.
The idea is to produce a thinner, stronger condom that has better sensation and less fuss.
Gates Foundation program officer Dr. Papa Salif Sow said it is a means of “reducing the loving distance between partners, so they will be more close.”
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The easier to put on a the condom, the better because “in sub-Saharan Africa, sex is basically done with low light and it might be very difficult to see the direction of the condom," Sow said.
The "ultrasensitive reconstituted collagen condom" mentioned above can be made of either fish skin or cow tendon. It was proposed by San Diego’s Apex Medical Technologies.
“They’re unbelievably strong,” said Apex president Mark McGlothlin, who currently obtains beef tendon from a Vietnamese grocery. “I could yank all day and not break this thing.”
Other winners include condoms with “shape memory” so that they mold instantly to a particular man; condoms with pull-tabs so they slip on quickly; condoms made of thermoplastic elastomers, which has superior flex compared to latex; and an unbreakable graphene condom made of the strongest material in the world.
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The winner might be a combination of several projects, according to Gates Foundation program officer Stephen Ward.
"There’s not one magic bullet. The idea is making them easier for people to use in the moment, in the dark, whatever situation they’re in,” Ward said.