The Company

Virustatic is an innovative SME developing the use of naturally occurring proteins across a range of health-promoting systems, from antipathogenic coatings for textiles, to preventative and curative medical devices.

R&D Focus

Virustatic spent 12 years developing antiviral materials for pandemic prevention, resulting in the Virustatic Shield, a breathable snood providing natural aerosol filtration and 360-degree protection.

Virustatic is working with UAL and the University of Leeds to develop their innovative textile coating to replace the use of metal-based chemicals for the antimicrobial treatment of fabric and textiles.

The project has launched in August 2021.

The Partners
  • UAL: University of the Arts London
  • University of Leeds

The project has launched in August 2021.


Black and white portrait of Joseph Houghton

Dr Joseph Houghton

Project Lead

University of Leeds / UAL

Joseph is an R&D Fellow in Green and Sustainable Chemistry at the UAL Fashion Textiles and Technology Institute, where he is responsible for working across industry and higher education research settings to elicit a step-change in sustainable materials and renewable fibres R&D. His research aims to reduce the impact of industrial waste biomass through valorisation routes in hopes of creating biorefinery systems for a more sustainable future. Working in collaboration with industry, economic and commercial feasibility is embedded across the entirety of Joseph’s research. Joseph is currently a Project Lead on an SME R&D Project with Virustatic, supported by the Business of Fashion, Textiles and Technology Creative R&D Partnership, where he supports the company in the innovation of textile coatings to replace the use of toxic metal-based chemicals for the antimicrobial treatment of fabrics and textiles.

Core skills and competencies include:

  • Green and sustainable chemistry
  • Biomass valorisation
  • Biorefineries



Lucy Hope

R&D Company Lead


A sustainable development professional, Lucy has been instrumental in supporting Virustatic’s growth from a disruptive innovation start-up into a purpose-led business. She is interested in promoting interdisciplinary, neurodiverse teams and encouraging creatives to enter the science and tech industries. She enjoys collaborating at the industry/academy interface, with other passionate tech for good practitioners, to tackle some of the world’s pressing health and environmental challenges.

Black and white portrait of Veronika Kapsali

Prof Veronika Kapsali

R&D Academic Mentor


Veronika is a Reader in Material Technology and Design at LCF where she is developing novel biomimetic approaches to design and innovation of Active Material Systems within the textile industry that intersect biology, material engineering and textile design. Veronika is an LCF graduate who was awarded a PhD scholarship to study engineering design at Bath University. Her practice intersects academic and manufacturing sectors both within her role as Reader and as co-director of MMT Textiles Limited and inventor of INOTEK TM (an award winning biomimetic textile platform that draws on ambient moisture to trigger reversible mechanical changes in the fabric structure, typically for advanced moisture and insulation management). Veronika is also a bestselling author in industrial design and consults extensively with private and public organisations in material science, textile technology, functional apparel and fashiontech. 

Black and white portrait of Richard Blackburn

Prof Richard Blackburn

R&D Academic Mentor

University of Leeds

Richard is a chemist with a passion for textile science; all his research is undertaken in partnership with industry and with a strong sustainability lens. His vision is for a future where alternative materials match the performance of traditional synthetic or unsustainable natural fibres. Richard’s experience includes developing alternative fibres for textiles, from sourcing raw material to processing and finishing. Core skills and competences include:

  • Alternative materials development
  • Sustainable dyeing and coloration for textiles
  • Contract chemistry research