'Glowing' condoms could soon reveal if you have an STI: Students design smart contraceptive to detect disease
'Glowing' condoms could soon reveal if you have an STI: Students design smart contraceptive to detect disease | Daily Mail Online
- Students from Illford came up with the concept for the Teen Tech awards
- Rubber would have layer that glows when viruses or bacteria are detected
- A green glow could signify chlamydia, while yellow could indicate herpes
- Other ideas for the awards include a wristband device that automatically calls the emergency services when the wearer finds themselves in trouble
PUBLISHED: 20:22 EST, 23 June 2015 | UPDATED: 01:42 EST, 24 June 2015
By Richard Gray for Mail Online
A 'smart' condom that changes colour when it detects a sexually transmitted disease could help to cut the spread of the illnesses.
The idea has been dreamt up by a group of students taking part in the TeenTech awards as a way to combat soaring infection rates.
Called the S.T.EYE, the condom concept includes a layer impregnated with molecules that attach to the bacteria and viruses associated with the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Students have designed a condom concept that changes colour when in the presence of bacteria or viruses that cause common sexually transmitted infections. Molecules in the rubber would glow different colours depending on the disease being detected. Pictured is an example of what the condom might look like
These would then cause molecules incorporated in the condom rubber to fluoresce a certain colour in low light, according to the infection detected.
So the condom might glow green for chlamydia, yellow for herpes, purple in the presence of the human papillomavirus which causes genital warts, and blue for syphilis, explained the designers.
Although still a concept at the moment, the students hope it may be possible to turn their idea into a reality in the future.
Daanyaal Ali, 14, from Isaac Newton Academy in Illford, who was part of the team to come up with the idea, said he hoped the condom would make people more aware of STIs and more willing to seek treatment.
He said: 'We created the S.T.EYE as a new way for STI detection to help the future of the next generation.
'We wanted to create something that makes detecting harmful STIs safer than ever before, so that people can take immediate action in the privacy of their own homes without the invasive procedures at the doctors.
'We've made sure we're able to give peace of mind to users and make sure people can be even more responsible than ever before.'
The S.T.EYE was awarded first prize in the Health Category at the final of the TeenTech awards, which are intended to promote science, engineering and technology in schools.
Groups of 11 to 16-year-olds were asked to come up with 'technology to make life better, simpler or easier'.
Among the other ideas to make the final was a WiFi-connected hair clip that changes colour to match a person's clothing.
Another was a device that can be worn around the wrist that connects to the users mobile phone and calls the emergency services should the user get into trouble.
Students Musaz Nawaz, Daanyaal Ali and Chirag Shah (shown left to right) came up with the S.T.EYE condoms as a way to tackle soaring STI rates around the world by providing a visual warning of risk of infection
Among the other ideas to make the final of the awards was the SECURUS wristband that connects to the wearers mobile phone and will call the emergency services if the user becomes panicked
THE WORLD'S STD HOTSPOTS
Data compiled by onlinedoctor.superdrug.com recently revealed that Iceland is the chlamydia capital of Europe.
But while the Nordic country has high rates of the sexually transmitted disease, rates in the US are even more alarming.
Since 1980, rates of chlamydia in the US have soared compared to Europe.
And while the number of Americans with gonorrhoea has declined since 1980, the figure for the US still eclipses rates of its European counterparts.
Washington DC had the most syphilis, HIV and gonorrhoea, while Kentucky was the state with the highest rates of hepatitis.
Meanwhile, Estonia tops the European scale for HIV, Russia sits in the top five for the most HPV, hepatitis B, gonorrhoea and syphilis.
Researchers used data from the World Health Organisation and the US' Centres for Disease Centers Control and Prevention (CDC).
They plotted maps and graphs of STD rates in Europe and the US, from 1980 to 2013.