Nanoparticle-DNA for Anti-Counterfeiting


Executive Summary


A 2008 report by the International Chamber of Commerce valued the counterfeit market at $650 billion and was expected to rise to $1.7 trillion in eight years. There is large safety concern with many counterfeit products, especially pharmaceuticals and toys manufactured with toxic agents. Researchers at Michigan State University have developed a simple and inexpensive nanoparticle DNA-based barcode system to track and reliably confirm the identity and authenticity of items such as pharmaceutical products, imported foods, electronics, textiles, currency, credit cards, passports, and many other legal documents and goods.


Description of Technology


Metal nanoparticles are coated with unique DNA sequences of various base lengths that can act as barcodes for product authentication, product serialization, brand protection, track-and-trace, intelligent supply chain, and law enforcement. The nanoparticle-DNA (nano-DNA) barcodes can be integrated into the product itself or into inks, dyes, labels and other markings at all production levels to encode company and product-specific information.  The nano-DNA can be authenticated using a simple, low-cost electrochemical biosensor device.  This allows for field-operability, quick results, and inexpensive operation unlike other DNA-based anti-counterfeiting technologies that require expensive PCR machines and highly skilled lab personnel to operate. 


Key Benefits

  • Initial in-field rapid authentication
  • Difficult to copy and alter
  • Reduces costs
  • Improves safety
  • Reduces counterfeit pharmaceuticals, knock-off toys, electronics



  • Anti-counterfeiting and brand protection
  • Product authentication / identification for virtually any product (e.g. computer hardware / software, pharmaceuticals, food, clothing etc.)


Patent Status: 


Issued US patents 9,810,659 and 10,451,579


Licensing Rights Available


Full licensing rights available.


Inventors: Evangelyn Alocilja


Tech ID: TEC2013-0074


Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Jon Debling
Technology Manager
Michigan State University
Evangelyn Alocilja