Breakthrough in Microbial Residue Disinfection: UCF Alumna Awarded $1M NSF Grant


According from an official website of University of Central Florida, The U.S. National Science Foundation has granted Kismet Technologies a $1 million Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Phase II award to advance the development of its wide-ranging residual antimicrobial technology.

This groundbreaking technology, which spearheaded by UCF materials science and engineering alumna Christina Drake ’07PhD, has demonstrated efficacy in eradicating COVID-19, as well as other bacteria and viruses.

Kismet Technologies, under the leadership of Christina Drake, collaborates with a diverse team of UCF researchers, including Sudipta Seal, Chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Griff Parks, Director of the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, and Melanie Coathup, Professor in the College of Medicine. This collaboration has earned Kismet Technologies one of only 10 STTR awards this year.

Michael Georgiopoulos, Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science, emphasizes the significance of this collaboration, showcasing UCF’s commitment to being a leader in technological partnerships on a national scale.

The initial testing phase demonstrated the effectiveness of the antimicrobial technology against COVID-19, parainfluenza, Zika, and other serious viruses. Parks highlights the multidisciplinary expertise that contributed to this success, underscoring the collaborative spirit at UCF.

As the technology progresses to Phase II testing, the team faces questions about its durability under hospital conditions and its effectiveness on biologically soiled surfaces. These questions will be crucial in determining the technology’s practicality in healthcare settings.

Coathup outlines the plan to rigorously test the antibacterial properties under varying conditions, including real-world scenarios with dust, dirt, and biological fluids.

The project not only aims for a final product but also fosters a strong partnership among UCF researchers. Parks sees immense potential for further collaboration between the College of Medicine and the College of Engineering and Computer Science, emphasizing the effectiveness of bringing diverse expertise to the table.

In addition to the project overview, information about the key researchers involved is provided. Sudipta Seal, with a background in materials engineering, has been a significant contributor to UCF’s research initiatives.

Melanie Coathup, a professor of medicine, focuses on orthopedic innovation and biomaterials. Griff Parks, the College of Medicine’s associate dean for Research, brings decades of experience in microbiology and immunology.

This NSF grant not only propels Kismet Technologies forward in its antimicrobial technology development but also underscores the potential for impactful collaboration and innovation at UCF.

Hope this article can motivate for those of you, especially for young generation to stay innovated and keep creating something new!

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