Apex Medical's Synthetic Lambskin Condom
During the AIDS crisis in the mid-1980s, Mark McGlothlin decided to use his polyurethane expertise to create a new kind of condom. His technology became part of the first commercialized non-latex condom. Now, with a Gates Foundation grant, he is working on creating a new condom using all-natural collagen. Collagen is found in the structures of much of the animal kingdom and this condom would make for one similar to lambskin condoms but more protective against STDs. The difference is that lambskin condom are just a cleaned up piece of lamb intestine, whereas McGlothin's material would be completely reprocessed. "We're taking collagen and breaking it down to a micro, micro, micro basis and putting it back together intact. So when we put it back together, we're not putting any pores in it at all that would normally occur in nature," says McGlothin, who is now president of Apex Medical Technologies. This condom would be strong and protective but, perhaps most appealing, it would have much more natural feel than latex.