The CertainT molecular tagging platform from Applied DNA Sciences is to be used on textiles treated with ITW Pillar Technologies to combat the growing risk of counterfeit Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) entering the healthcare supply chain. 

A new agreement will see Applied DNA supply SigNature molecular tags and SigNify in-field authentication devices to Pillar for use on materials and products treated with its patented plasma deposition technology, including N95 masks, gowns, and other equipment used by frontline healthcare practitioners. 

Plasma deposition technology allows textiles to be finished with varying characteristics – wickability, breathability, ink and dye uptake, anti-microbial, hydrophobicity – that are eco-friendly to apply relative to traditional wet-chemical processes. 

The treated materials and products will carry Applied DNA’s CertainT trademark to ensure authenticity, origin, traceability, sustainability and quality – and bring transparency to Pillar’s customers’ supply chains. 

The SigNature molecular tags will be incorporated into textiles including polypropylene, cotton, recycled polyester, nylon, wool and viscose used to manufacture PPE products.

Pillar personnel will be trained in the application of the unique molecular tags and in the use of the in-field authentication systems. And all tagged materials and products will be tracked via CertainT’s cloud-based portal.

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“As the standard of proof and need for greater transparency continues to increase, so too does the need to have a scientific basis to support sustainability goals and ongoing commercial programmes,” says Rory Wolf, CEO of ITW Pillar Technologies. 

“We are especially pleased to offer definitive proof of the authenticity of PPE materials to customers at a time when Covid-19-fuelled demand has led to an influx of substandard and falsified product in the healthcare supply chain.”

MeiLin Wan, VP, Textiles at Applied DNA, adds: “Pillar represents further adoption of our CertainT platform and another avenue for the commercialisation of our supply chain security solutions. 

“Having validated and proven that our CertainT platform can work on a wide range of substrates with Pillar, the advancement in portable testing together with advancements in non-chemical applications for textiles and other materials provides a compelling solution for branded and proprietary products that require a trusted, market-ready solution.”

Click on the following link to find out more on: How forensic science can assure cotton supply chain integrity.