A trio of teenagers in the UK won a science prize for their concept of condoms that change color in the presence of sexually-transmitted disease pathogens:
Their idea - which is still at concept stage - involves a condom covered with antibodies that would react with the proteins in bacteria, or antigens, found in STIs.
Daanyaal [Ali, 14,] explained: "Once the [bodily] fluids come into contact with the latex, if the person does have some sort of STI, it will cause a reaction through antibodies and antigens hanging on to each other, which triggers an antibody reaction causing a colour change."
Dr Mark Lawton, [a consultant in sexual health and HIV at the Royal Liverpool Hospital,] said, "The technology for colour change in the presence of an antigen is certainly something that does happen - the home test for HIV relies on a colour change detecting antibodies for HIV. It does normally require some additional chemicals in that process and [with a condom] you'd obviously need to make sure that those chemicals weren't going to be harmful or toxic or in any way cause irritation."
This is a great concept. I hope they can commercialize it.