Personal lubricants can increase user satisfaction with male condoms by reducing friction and yielding a slippery sensation. However, lubricants pose disadvantages of dilution in physiologic fluids and sloughing away over repeated articulations. To address these drawbacks, a latex surface modification, which becomes lubricious in the presence of physiologic fluid, has been developed and evaluated. This study assesses (i) the frictional performance of the lubricious coating compared to non-coated latex and latex lubricated by personal lubricant, (ii) the level of agreement between human-perceived slipperiness and machine-measured friction, and (iii) human preference for a hypothetical male condom containing the lubricious coating. Friction coefficient of the lubricious coating was 53% lower than that of non-coated latex and approximately equal to that afforded by personal lubricant. A touch test and survey of a small population sample ( N = 33) revealed a strong correlation ( R 2 = 0.83) between human-perceived slipperiness and machine-measured friction. A majority of participants (73%) expressed a preference for a condom containing the lubricious coating, agreeing that an inherently slippery condom that remained slippery for a long duration would increase their condom usage. Such a coating shows potential to be an effective strategy for decreasing friction-associated pain, increasing user satisfaction and increasing condom usage.
materials science, biomedical engineering
Natural Sciences in General