A dissolvable tampon-like product that can be used to deliver substantial loads of medicine can prove to be an effective protection against HIV infection among women.
The product has been developed by researchers at University of Washington (UW) who were experimenting with a process called as electrospinning, in which charged fluid containing polymers and antiretroviral drugs was projected from a syringe and through an electric field.
This led to the breaking up of liquid into thin fibers, which can be converted into stretchy fabric that not only blocks sperm, but also can be used to deliver contraceptives and antivirals.
The fabric dissolves when it comes in contact with moisture, releasing the load of drug. The researchers experimented with maraviroc, an antiretroviral drug used in HIV treatment, and found that the sample dissolved within minutes. The study has been published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.