Feminine hygiene products such as pads, wipes and tampons can now perform diagnostic functions such as detecting the presence of a genitourinary yeast infection. When candidiasis appears, special threads in the composition of such funds will change color - from white to bright pink.
Known causative agents of urogenital candidiasis , or thrush - fungi of the genus Candida - cause an unpleasant sensation of itching, burning, pain in the external genitals, as well as the appearance of pathological vaginal discharge. According to the Mayo Clinical Center, at least ¾ of women have had thrush at least once in their lives. This fungal infection is extremely common and can be diagnosed with a vaginal smear. Nevertheless, many women are deprived of the opportunity to conduct an examination in a timely manner, for various reasons.
Representatives of the peer-reviewed scientific publication ACS Omega - the journal of the American Chemical Society - came up with the idea of complementing the composition of feminine hygiene products with special processed fibers that acquire a bright pink color when attached to fungal flora. As scientists-chemists explain, such a development will help many women at any time and without problems diagnose candidiasis in themselves.
The researchers took as a basis ordinary sanitary napkins and tampons made of multifilament cotton material. To increase the moisture resistance of the fibers, specialists processed them with a heptane solution, displacing the binder components that got into the threads during the production process. Next, the fibers were impregnated with L-proline-beta-naphthylamide, a substance that reacts with the enzyme of fungal infection, after which they were embedded in the inner filler of hygiene products. After adding to these means of imitation of vaginal secretions with candidiasis inclusion, a change in the color shade of the filler from white to hot pink was observed. At the same time, the diagnostics took only a few minutes.
Another important advantage of the new feminine hygiene products is their relatively low cost: such diagnostic pads or tampons will cost about 25 cents apiece. In the future, scientists plan to adapt them for the comprehensive detection of other pathogenic microorganisms - in particular, bacteria that can provoke the development of genitourinary infections.
The incidence of urogenital candidiasis is extremely common, regularly regulated throughout the world, and tends to recur frequently, reducing quality of life and causing physical, sexual and emotional discomfort to women. Therefore, the issue of early diagnosis of this pathology is very relevant.
The invention was presented by employees of the American Chemical Society on their own website