Biofilm Resistant Coatings for Space Applications



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48th International Conference on Environmental Systems


Bacterial biofilms are an important and often problematic aspect of life on earth and in space. Microbial contamination onboard the International Space Station (ISS) continues to pose mission risks, both to crew health and hardware reliability. In order to optimize the design of the future space exploration vehicle for long term missions, new technologies are needed to control the habitat’s microbial environment over multiple years. Among the emerging technologies for combating biofilm, new surface coatings show promise for preventing biofilm formation. This approach aims to interrupt the critical initial step of biofilm formation (cell attachment) through surface modification. When successfully developed, biofilm resistant coatings can eliminate/reduce the need for disinfectants, and avoid the development of “superbugs,” thus offering distinctive advantages for biofilm prevention during long term missions. Initial results at KSC showed that omniphobic coatings are promising candidates as biofilm resistant materials. Parabolic flight experiments also verified their physical properties under microgravity.


Wenyan Li, AECOM
Mary Hummerick, AECOM
Christina Khodadad, AECOM
Jerry Buhrow, AECOM
Lashelle Spencer, AECOM
Janelle Coutts, AECOM
Luke Roberson, NASA
Anish Tuteja, University of Michigan
Geeta Mehta, University of Michigan
Mathew Boban, University of Michigan
Michael Barden, PVA Tepla America
ICES303: Physio-Chemical Life Support- Water Recovery & Management Systems- Technology and Process Development
The 48th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA on 08 July 2018 through 12 July 2018.


Bacterial, Microbial, Biofilm, International Space Station, Coatings, Surface