Queensland researchers make super-thin condoms using native spinifex grass
Thursday, 11 February 2016 - 11:09
Australia's native spinifex grass can make latex strong enough to make hair-thin condoms without sacrificing any durability, according to researchers from the University of Queensland.
The university's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) has developed a method of extracting nanocellulose from the grass, which can be used as an additive in latex production.
"We can make a stronger and thinner membrane that is supple and flexible, which is the holy grail for natural rubber," Professor Darren Martin said in a statement.
Cellulose is an important structural component of plant cells and has existing industrial uses in making cellophane plastic and rayon fibre as well as being the principal raw ingredient in paper.