Graphene, a super-material developed by scientists in 2004, is a conductive carbon layer just one atom thick, and is already used in solar panels, non-stick surfaces and mobile phone screens.
But now, graphene is set to be used for something altogether more exciting, as scientists at the University of Manchester have announced they are using it to create thinner, stronger condoms.
The team says that condoms made using the material, which will be combined with latex, could be more comfortable, safer, and even more pleasurable.
Dr Aravind Vijayaraghavan, a materials scientist at the University of Manchester said: “This composite material will be tailored to enhance the natural sensation during intercourse while using a condom, which should encourage and promote condom use.
“This will be achieved by combining the strength of graphene with the elasticity of latex to produce a new material which can be thinner, stronger, more stretchy, safer and, perhaps most importantly, more pleasurable.”
The team in Manchester has been awarded £62,000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which aims to tackle health problems in developing countries.
The foudnation challenged scientists to develop condoms that would be more desirable to use, in the hope that they may be able to prevent the spread of HIV and unplanned pregnancies.
Dr Vijayaraghavan added: “If this project is successful, we might have a use for graphene which will touch our everyday life in the most intimate way.”