Faculty of
Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

17 February 2021

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) are conducting experiments with an antimicrobial surface coating designed to fight the spread of bacteria and viruses.

The coating was developed by The University of Queensland and Boeing as a joint research project to inhibit viral agents, such as the Earth-bound coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor Michael Monteiro from UQ’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) said it was exciting to see the research go into space after years of development.

The technology has already been tested aboard Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator as part of the company’s Confident Travel Initiative.

Boeing’s Mike Delaney said while testing continued on orbit and on Earth, the team had been encouraged by the preliminary results of the antimicrobial chemical compound.

“There is potential for broad-based applicability for a surface coating like this when used in conjunction with other measures to prevent disease transmission,” Mr Delaney said.

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