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Recent Development of a bioinspired antimicrobial surface - A preventive technology for extended stays in confined space environments

: Dünne, M.; Slenzka, K.; Rettberg, P.; Rischka, K.

International Astronautical Federation:
Unlocking imagination, fostering innovation and strengthening security. Vol.4 : 68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2017); Adelaide, Australia 25-29 September 2017
Red Hook/NY: Curran Associates, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-5108-5537-3
International Astronautical Congress (IAC) <68, 2017, Adelaide>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IFAM ()

Challenges of spaceflight in LEO and exploration activities are manifold. E.g., the more far away from the Earth, the more increased stays in closed systems (e.g. ISS, lunar and Martian habitats) are a common characteristic. This includes increased but very specific microbial loads caused by high humidity and temperature levels and especially based on the group of humans brought to the closed habitat. Furthermore, there is a higher dependency from biological systems (CELSS) being sensitive against unintended microbial contamination, as well as a need of not transferring microorganisms out of spaceships to outer, habitable bodies and vice versa (COSPAR Planetary Protection Policy). Proven technologies on Earth to counteract microbial contamination as biocides are not a suited alternative for space due to inherent problems of potential toxic effects on non-target organisms, unspecificity and resistances to some microbial groups. Bioinspired technologies as using antimicrobial peptides from nature (e.g. from frog skin etc.), immobilized on surfaces, are a suited alternative. High flexibility concerning the microbial target, low toxicity and an absence of resistances are the main advantages. This paper describes different aspects of a current development of a bioinspired antimicrobial lacquer with peptides as acting ingredient (e.g. targeted application, aspects of peptide use for antimicrobial acting, lacquer development approach, test program).