Global counterfeiting is a serious threat around the world – posing a public health concern for consumers and law enforcement while creating financial concerns for legitimate brand owners and global businesses. Counterfeit goods – “knockoffs” – exist in virtually every form of consumer products, from bogus watches to fake medicines, and are one of the most lucrative and rapidly growing industries in the world. Counterfeit medicines endanger patients and counterfeit food and beverages also pose major health risks to consumers.
Anti-counterfeiting technologies (ACT) are established preventive measures to ensure that products in the supply chain are legitimate. Examples include tamper-evident and tamper–resistant packaging; product authentication technologies (holograms, color-shift inks, digital watermarks) and more recently nanomaterials and DNA tagging.
This project aims to develop novel next-generation, field deployable, non-clonable anti-counterfeiting technologies that will combine the use of novel nanomaterials and DNA tags to be coupled with data-carrying devices such as smart phones.
Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have already been developed along with the methodology for decorating the AuNPs with DNA sequences for tagging and serialization. Particle distribution is providing unique signatures linked to individual product items and difficult to reproduce.
Research Project Grand Challenge
The scope of the project aligns with the mission and vision of the Axia Institute, especially in value chain creation, supply chain security and food/pharmaceutical safety and sustainability. The research will leverage expertise in nanotechnology, nanomaterials, RFID, genomics and packaging.