Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / Nanometer sized fibers to protect women from HIV
Nanometer sized fibers to protect women from HIV
Dec '12
The only way to protect against HIV and unintended pregnancy today is the condom. 

A University of Washington team has developed a versatile platform to simultaneously offer contraception and prevent HIV. Electrically spun cloth with nanometer-sized fibers can dissolve to release drugs, providing a platform for cheap, discrete and reversible protection.
The research was published this week in the Public Library of Science’s open-access journal PLoS One. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation last month awarded the UW researchers almost $1 million to pursue the technology.
“Our dream is to create a product women can use to protect themselves from HIV infection and unintended pregnancy,” said corresponding author Kim Woodrow, a UW assistant professor of bioengineering. “We have the drugs to do that. It’s really about delivering them in a way that makes them more potent, and allows a woman to want to use it.”
Electrospinning uses an electric field to catapult a charged fluid jet through air to create very fine, nanometer-scale fibers. The fibers can be manipulated to control the material’s solubility, strength and even geometry. Because of this versatility, fibers may be better at delivering medicine than existing technologies such as gels, tablets or pills. No high temperatures are involved, so the method is suitable for heat-sensitive molecules. The fabric can also incorporate large molecules, such as proteins and antibodies, that are hard to deliver through other methods.
At a lab meeting last year, Woodrow presented the concept, and co-authors Emily Krogstad and Cameron Ball, both first-year graduate students, pursued the idea.
They first dissolved polymers approved by the Food and Drug Administration and antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV to create a gooey solution that passes through a syringe. As the stream encounters the electric field it stretches to create thin fibers measuring 100 to several thousand nanometers that whip through the air and eventually stick to a collecting plate (one nanometer is about one 25-millionth of an inch). The final material is a stretchy fabric that can physically block sperm or release chemical contraceptives and antivirals.
“This method allows controlled release of multiple compounds,” Ball said. “We were able to tune the fibers to have different release properties.” One of the fabrics they made dissolves within minutes, potentially offering users immediate, discrete protection against unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Another dissolves gradually over a few days, providing an option for sustained delivery, more like the birth-control pill,  to provide contraception and guard against HIV.

Must ReadView All

Mike Preston, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC), signing MoU with Tang from Suzhou Tianyuan Garments company. Courtesy: Government of Arkansas

Apparel/Garments | On 21st Oct 2016

Suzhou Tianyuan to open $20 mn garment factory in US

Suzhou Tianyuan Garments company, a Chinese manufacturer of casual...

Textiles | On 21st Oct 2016

Pakistan’s textile exports fall 5.96% y-o-y in Q1 FY17

The value of textile and garment exports made by Pakistan decreased...

Textiles | On 21st Oct 2016

ITMA Asia + CITME 2016 opens with record exhibitors

The fifth ITMA ASIA + CITME 2016 exhibition opened today in Shanghai, ...

Interviews View All

Saket Garg
Garg Corporation

The biggest challenge is lack of skilled workforce and competition from...

Rajiv Sirohi

‘Portugal is taking away a major share of the mill made sector.’

Dinaz Madhukar
DLF Emporio and DLF Promenade

‘Each event and promotion is planned out keeping in mind the business of...

Johan Berlin
InvestKonsult Sweden AB

Investkonsult Sweden AB has been buying and selling second-hand textile...

Kerem Durdag
Biovation II LLC

Kerem Durdag, CEO, Biovation II LLC, provides an insight into future...

Steve Cole
Xerium Technologies

Steve Cole of Xerium Technologies discusses the industry. Xerium is the...

Silvia Venturini Fendi
Fendi s.r.l

"Yes, my confidence and positive attitude are my strengths and should be...

Prathyusha Garimella
Prathyusha Garimella

Hyderabad-based designer Prathyusha Garimella is known for blending...

Tony Ward
Tony Ward

"You have to truly understand what your client wants, know her needs, what ...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


Letter To Editor

(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies

October 2016

October 2016

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.


Browse Our Archives


Advanced Search