A modified SILCS contraceptive diaphragm for long-term controlled release of the HIV microbicide dapivirine

Ian Major, Peter Boyd, Maggie Kilbourne-Brook, Gene Saxon, Jessica Cohen, R. Karl Malcolm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Background: There is considerable interest in developing new multipurpose prevention technologies to address women's reproductive health needs. This study describes an innovative barrier contraceptive device--based on the SILCS diaphragm--that also provides long-term controlled release of the lead candidate anti-HIV microbicide dapivirine.

Study design: Diaphragm devices comprising various dapivirine-loaded polymer spring cores overmolded with a nonmedicated silicone elastomer sheath were fabricated by injection molding processes. In vitro release testing, thermal analysis and mechanical characterization were performed on the devices.

Results: A diaphragm device containing a polyoxymethylene spring core loaded with 10% w/w dapivirine provided continuous and controlled release of dapivirine over a 6-month period, with a mean in vitro daily release rate of 174 mcg/day. The mechanical properties of the new diaphragm were closely matched to the SILCS diaphragm.

Conclusions: The study demonstrates proof of concept for a dapivirine-releasing diaphragm with daily release quantities potentially capable of preventing HIV transmission. In discontinuous clinical use, release of dapivirine may be readily extended over 1 or more years. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-66
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


  • HIV microbicide; Multipurpose prevention technology; Contraceptive diaphragm; SILCS; Vaginal drug delivery; Dapivirine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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