This study by C. Balagna et al from 2012 looks at the application of their product on spacecraft. They covered a commercial polymer generally used in aerospace with an antimicrobial made of silver and silica using radio frequencies. This was done in an attempt to mitigate the amount of contamination of spacecraft surfaces. When in space, astronauts become more vulnerable to sickness since their immune system is suppressed, as expressed by a 2005 study from J.B. Boonyaratanakornkit et al. Curbing the amount of contamination on the surfaces they come into contact with could protect them from possible infections. After all, no one wants to be sick in space, where there are no doctors or hospitals!
Alex Alexiev is an undergraduate in Jonathan Eisen’s lab, working on aquariums as part of the microbiology of the built environment