Virus fighting surface coating on aircraft and in space

AIBN researchers, in partnership with Boeing (BR&T- Australia) have developed an antiviral surface coating to protect against COVID-19 and other existing and emerging viral and bacterial transmissions on aircraft and for space travel.

This environmentally friendly, cheap antiviral surface coating is currently being manufactured to industrial scales. 

The coating started as a concept in 2016 to protect passengers and crew in aircraft from pandemic threats and shows the power and impact of commercial partnerships between industry and research.

The product was created using polymers which inactivate viruses transmitted through coughing, sneezing or saliva.

This versatile chemistry can be readily redesigned to target emerging viruses and aid in controlling future pandemics. 

After this project began and before the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers and Boeing recognised the potential threat of microbial contamination on space missions - to astronauts, equipment and interplanetary contamination, so the product was tested on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2022 and again in November 2023.

The ISS experiment tested objects from the aircraft including fabric and seatbelts, as well as areas on the floor and other surfaces, with only one set receiving the antimicrobial surface coating.

Throughout the life of this project, Boeing has supported the costs of 5 patent families, manufacturing, regulatory approvals and commercialisation of the product to market. 

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