Grants Awarded
 
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 Grand Challenges Explorations Grants

Grand Challenges Explorations fosters creative projects that show great promise to improve the health of people in the developing world. Grants target an expanding set of global health topics, and there are two award rounds per year. Projects with demonstrated success in their initial phase of research have the opportunity to receive Phase II funding of up to $1 million.

On June 3, 2014, 52 researchers were awarded new Grand Challenges Explorations grants. Read more about these below. In addition, 3 Explorations projects were awarded Phase II funding. To read more about these new Phase II grants, select "Phase II" in the Grant Phase drop-down menu, while showing all topics and all rounds.

To review all Explorations projects, select “Show All Topics” in the Topic drop-down menu, "Show All Rounds" in the Date and Grant Round drop-down menu, and “Show All Phases” in the Grant Phase drop-down menu.

Topic
Technologies
Date and Grant Round
Grant Phase
Showing Grants 1 to 10 of 11
An Enhanced Condom Using Nanomaterials
Primary Investigator:
Aravind Vijayaraghavan, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom - GB
Topic:
Round:
Round 11 – November 2013
Phase:
Phase I
Aravind Vijayaraghavan and a team from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom propose to develop new elastic composite materials for condoms containing nanomaterials like graphene. This composite material will be tailored to enhance the natural sensation during intercourse while using a condom, which should encourage condom use.
Dynamic, Universal Fit, Low Cost Condom
Primary Investigator:
Benjamin Strutt, Cambridge Design Partnership LLP, Cambridge, United Kingdom - GB
Topic:
Round:
Round 11 – November 2013
Phase:
Phase I
Benjamin Strutt and a team from Cambridge Design Partnership in the United Kingdom will design a male condom made from a composite anisotropic material that will provide universal fit and is designed to gently tighten during intercourse, enhancing sensation and reliability. New designs will be created and tested for specific functional and performance parameters that they will identify by consulting with users. They will also develop a manufacturing process and build prototypes that will be tested for feel, fit, performance, and manufacturability.
Engineering a Biologically Inspired Condom
Primary Investigator:
Patrick Kiser, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 11 – November 2013
Phase:
Phase I
Patrick Kiser of Northwestern University in the U.S. proposes to synthesize new polymeric materials that mimic the properties of mucosal tissue and to use these materials in the development and manufacture of condoms. These technologies could improve sensation and the condoms would be readily manufacturable for deployment across the globe.
Graphene-Based Polymer Composites For High Heat Transfer, Improved Sensitivity And Drug Delivery
Primary Investigator:
Lakshminarayanan Ragupathy, HLL Lifecare Ltd., Trivandrum, India - IN
Topic:
Round:
Round 11 – November 2013
Phase:
Phase I
Lakshminarayanan Ragupathy of HLL Lifecare Ltd. in India will work to improve the safety and enhance the sensitivity of male condoms by incorporating graphene or its derivatives into condom-making materials. Graphene is a single-layer, crystalline form of carbon that is highly elastic and very strong. It also conducts heat. They will mix graphene with currently used condom materials to produce thinner, heat conducting condoms, and incorporate drugs and compounds to further enhance safety as well as sexual experience. These condoms will then be tested in preclinical studies for safety and efficacy.
Project Rapidom
Primary Investigator:
Willem van Rensburg, Kimbranox (Pty) Limited, Stellenbosch, South Africa - ZA
Topic:
Round:
Round 11 – November 2013
Phase:
Phase I
Willem van Rensburg of Kimbranox Ltd. in South Africa will test a condom applicator, the Rapidom, that is designed for easy, technique-free application of male condoms. Manual application of condoms takes time, which can lead to incorrect positioning as it interrupts the sexual act, and current applicators require good technique. Kimbranox has designed an applicator with an easy, fail-safe design that is applied with one motion, thereby minimizing interruption. An eight-week, randomized, cross-over study will compare ease of application and customer satisfaction between Rapidom and conventionally-packed condoms.
Super-Hydrophilic Nanoparticle Condom Coating
Primary Investigator:
Karen Buch, Boston University, Boston, MA, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 11 – November 2013
Phase:
Phase I
Karen Buch and Ducksoo Kim of Boston University Medical Center in the U.S. will design and fabricate a durable male condom with a super-hydrophilic nanoparticle coating to better protect against breakage and thereby transmission of infection. The coating is composed of covalently linked nanofabricated polymers that work by trapping a thin film of water to reduce friction and shearing forces. The coated condoms will be mechanically tested for surface integrity and friction profiles, and could eventually be combined with anti-infectives.
The Condom Applicator Pack (CAP)
Primary Investigator:
Michael Rutner, House of Petite Pty, Ltd. , Sydney, Australia - AU
Topic:
Round:
Round 11 – November 2013
Phase:
Phase I
Michael Rutner and Russell Burley of House of Petite Pty. Ltd. in Australia will build and test a universal condom applicator pack (CAP), which is designed to ensure that male condoms can be quickly, accurately, safely and easily fitted. Condoms are currently mostly applied manually, which can increase the risk of disease transmission or unplanned pregnancy due to damage to the condom during fitting or incorrect positioning, for example. The CAP and condom will be provided in the same packaging, and the mechanism is designed to ensure correct positioning and avoid damage. They will review materials for the CAP and build prototypes to be tested in the lab and in trials, as well as performing preliminary production and marketing.
Ultra Sheer "Wrapping" Condom with Superior Strength
Primary Investigator:
Ron Frezieres, California Family Health Council, Los Angeles, CA, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 11 – November 2013
Phase:
Phase I
Ron Frezieres of the California Family Health Council in the U.S. will develop a stronger and thinner male condom made of polyethylene to increase condom use. Polyethylene is a non-toxic and hypoallergenic material that wraps and clings to surfaces rather than squeezes, thereby enhancing sensation and enabling easier application. They will collaborate with the only polyethylene condom manufacturer, based in Columbia, to develop an improved product with an alternative lubricating system and two different applicator methods, and test them in an FDA-approved Phase I study to evaluate performance and safety.
Ultra-Sensitive Reconstituted Collagen Condom
Primary Investigator:
Mark McGlothlin, Apex Medical Technologies, Inc., San Diego, CA, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 11 – November 2013
Phase:
Phase I
Mark McGlothlin of Apex Medical Technologies, Inc. in the U.S. will produce a male condom with enhanced strength and sensitivity using collagen fibrils from bovine tendons, which are widely available from meat processing. Collagen fibrils would provide a hydrated micro-rough skin-like surface texture that facilitates heat transfer to produce a more natural sensation. They will develop methods to best arrange the fibrils and more safely crosslink them. Barrier properties of the engineered condom will be quantified, enhanced if necessary, and sensitivity will be tested.
Ultra-Sensory Condoms Based on New Superelastomer Technology
Primary Investigator:
Jimmy Mays, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 11 – November 2013
Phase:
Phase I
Jimmy Mays of the University of Tennessee in the U.S. will develop a prototype male condom made from superelastomers (a highly elastic polymer). This will enable the manufacture of thinner and softer condoms that will enhance user experience. It will also simplify the condom manufacturing process and make it less expensive.
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