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Posted: September 12, 2007
Role of nanotechnology in brand protection
(Nanowerk News) There is an article over at the Converting Magazine that says that despite its high cost, new nanoscale developments can provide covert authentication and track-and-trace features for consumer packaged goods. It argues that owners of high-end brands are also more likely to use high-security features incorporating nanotechnology. Because of the higher value of their products, they'll be willing to spend more if it means their products are better protected.
So, what are technology companies doing? Skokie, IL-based NanoInk, Inc. (www.nanoink.net), is using its patented Dip Pen Nanolithography™ (DPN) technique to apply drug information directly onto pharmaceutical pills, and it hopes to use the same technique on packaging. The company would like to partner with converters to provide a layered solution for pharmaceutical customers.
NanoInk's DPN is a patterning technique that can encrypt pills using a scanning probe—a molecule-coated probe tip that acts like a pen—to deposit material onto a surface. The general process involves a chemically engineered ink-and-substrate combination, and the comprehensive nanoscale positioning control allows for high-quality nanolithographic patterns.
Another company using nanotechnology for authentication purposes is Oxonica, Inc., formerly Nanoplex Technologies (www.nanoplextech.com), in Mountain View, CA. The company is conducting trials with several converters that are using its nano bar codes for authentication and track-and-trace. The first application of the technology is likely to be on either packaging or labeling, and the company hopes to extend the technology so that it can eventually be used as a thread and put on materials.