Title

pH Effects on Bio-Permeability of Natural Rubber Latex Polymers

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2011

Publication Title

American Journal of Biomedical Sciences

Volume

3

Issue

4

First Page

292

Last Page

300

DOI

10.5099/aj110400292

Keywords

Viral penetrability, bacteriophage ΦX174, natural rubber latex, prophylactics

Abstract

Barrier materials used in medical gloves and condoms to prevent the penetration of infectious agents are of utmost importance for the preservation of public health. Surrogate viruses have proven effective as conservative measures of infectious potential. Previous work has tested the integrity of barrier materials exposed to a host of pressures and stresses, however none have tested the effects of pH exposure mimicking that prevailing through coitus. We optimized the use of bacteriophage ФX174 and PCR detection to conduct a pilot study on the effects of pH on the viral penetration of latex condoms. Our results suggest that exposure of condoms to acidic pH ranges of physiological significance increases the frequency of condom failure rate. This proof of principal work supports the need for a larger study to investigate the significance of these effects over a wide range of condom brands.