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Tying knots

The researchers used their previously developed methods to coat hydrogel onto a variety of elastomer devices, including silicone tubing, a Foley catheter, and a condom, as a first step into potential uses for hydrogel laminates.

According to Parada, “our first major focus was catheters because they are rigid and not very comfortable, and infection of catheters can cause approximately 50% of hospital readmissions.”We also thought we could apply this to condoms because the current latex condoms cause a lot of sensitivities and allergies, and if you can put drugs in the gel, you might be protected better.

The hydrogel coating remained tightly bound to the coated tubing despite being bent and folded sharply into a knot, according to the researchers.When the researchers inflated both the coated catheter and the coated condom, the same result was observed.