A Chinese company called Blue Cross Bio-Medical is offering a foam condom made with silver "nanotech" particles. The female spray-on condom comes in a can with a plastic applicator. After the foam spray is squirted into the vagina it forms a physical membrane preventing conception and protecting against infection. The spray uses polyvinyl alcohol resin as its base material, infused with nano-silver, providing both a spermicide and antiseptic lubricant that helps prevents sexually transmitted diseases.
The "nano-silver" condom is part of a growing list of consumer products built with so-called nanotech components. Some of these include wrinkle-free sheets, clothing, detergents, cosmetic products, toothpastes, air and water purification machines, water sealants, and electronics parts. While nanotechnology (generally defined as dealing with structures 100 nanometers or smaller) was little more than a twinkle in Richard Feynman’s eye fifty years ago, products like the nano-foam condom show that nanotech is becoming increasingly relevant to industrial manufacturing, and consequentially our lives — even in places as seemingly low tech as the bedroom.