Researchers from West Lafayette's Perdue University have created an edible security tag that can classify authentic drugs, using the existing physical unclonable functions (PUF) method, and published their research in the 'Nature Communications' journal.
The revolutionary tag, built from a thin, genetically fused, transparent film of silk and fluorescent protein, is extremely difficult to replicate because each time it is placed under a well-suited LED light, the response is different. The fluorescent silk produces a different pattern of fluorescent green, cyan, red and yellow colors each time LED lights are shined onto the tag; from here, a patient or pharmacy can check whether the medication is real through the security key generated from the extraction of virtual pieces from the pattern.
“An edible security tag has been developed to tackle fake drugs.“
A Biomedical Engineering Postdoctoral Associate at Purdue, Jung Woo Leem, stated: “Our concept is to use a smartphone to shine an LED light on the tag and take a picture of it. The app then identifies if the medicine is genuine or fake.”
An Associate Professor in Purdue’s Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Young Kim, stated: “Every single tag is unique, offering a much higher level of security.”