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Combatting counterfeiters

November 24th, 2014 / By: / Feature

New technology available from Applied DNA Sciences can protect fabric suppliers from counterfeit products. 2014 © Mark Skalny Photography, All Rights Reserved.
New technology available from Applied DNA Sciences can protect fabric suppliers from counterfeit products. 2014 © Mark Skalny Photography, All Rights Reserved.

No supply chain is safe from counterfeit activity. “To the counterfeiter there is no risk; they can keep doing it all day long,” MeiLin Wan of Applied DNA Sciences, Stony Brook, N.Y., said in her presentation at Advanced Textiles Expo in October. “But what happens to your product? The quality of your product? And the integrity of your supply chain when you don’t do anything? The potential cost of liability, market share loss, legal costs—they start to become quite meaningful.”

Wan described her company’s anti-counterfeiting solution, SigNature® DNA, as a seamless application that doesn’t affect a fabric’s aesthetics or performance. The technology works by extracting DNA from plant genomes and creating a unique “fingerprint” by altering the DNA so that it won’t encode for any genes (making it functionless outside of being a marker). The fingerprint or marker is stabilized into a carrier, such as ink, oil, water, varnish or powder, which can be applied at any point in the supply chain.

Co-presenter Rory Wolf of Pillar Technologies, Hartland, Wis., a division of ITW, explained the benefits of plasma binding, the surface treatment technology that ensures that product integrity can be validated. The SigNature DNA technology and the plasma binding technology work together to provide a synergistic solution that can be tailored to any supply chain.

Jill Lafferty is editor of InTents magazine.