Cocktails, who doesn’t love them. Whether you fancy yourself a fiery flaming lamborghini or prefer a chilled out virgin mojito, there is just something intriguing about these colorful layered drinks.
Well… there may be a new variant in the block. One which is not necessarily consumed for pleasure’s sake only but used as a contraceptive for men.
For years, women have shouldered the burden of contraception while men’s options have been plagued with extremes of time and effects. Common male contraceptives are either condoms which are a short term option or vasectomy, which is long term and permanent.
It is these short comings that led Chinese scientists to look for a male contraceptive that is medium term and reversible at the same time.
Scientists at the Nanchang University led by Xiaolei Wang, were inspired by the Galaxy cocktail drink, to come up with their witty male contraceptive.
In their experiment, Wang and his team layered hydrogel, 2 gold nanoparticles layers and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) to come up with a four-layered contraceptive which they injected on fertile male rats.
How the contraceptive works
The hydrogel acts as a physical barrier to sperm, the EDTA is a chemical that breaks down the hydrogel and also kills sperms while the gold nanoparticles are what breaks down the concoction when heated and exposed to near infrared light.
This experiment was first tested on male rats by injecting into the vas deferens (the tube that transports sperms from the testicle to the penis) of a rat. The injected concoction kept the rats from impregnating female rats for approximately two months. The scientists then shone a near-infrared lamp on the rats for a few minutes leading to the layers mixing up and dissolving making the rats fertile again.
The contraceptive will be a medical breakthrough
Although there is a lot of hope in the contraceptive, it has a long way to go before it can be proven as safe to be used on humans.
“More animal experiments are needed to verify the safety of materials. After it is tested on various animals, there will be a clinical trial and if it is successful, then it will be launched into the market, said the scientists.
Dr. Wang explained that if successful to be used by humans, the contraception which is administered in the form of an injection, enables men to control the contraception period which will vary based on dosage without compromising on sex life.
The study was published on January 30, 2019 in the ACS Nano a journal run by the American Chemical Society.