Purdue patents edible anti-counterfeit tech for pharma

The Purdue Research Foundation has been awarded a US patent for an edible technology that could be used to protect dosage forms from falsification.

The method relies on the use of various pharmaceutical excipients or other edible ingredients that can be randomly distributed in a tablet and serve as physically unclonable functions (PUFs) – a term for markers based on random processes that are deemed “substantially impossible” to replicate.

According to the patent text, the edible PUF is used to generate a unique cryptographic key tied to a response to a physical stimulus challenge – excitation of a fluorescent protein for example – that would be stored in a database and could be used to authenticate a suspect pill.

The patent notes that other ingredients have been introduced with the potential for digital authentication, including polymers, silica microtaggants and hydrogel microparticles, but asserts that “such materials are often not ideal from an oral intake safety perspective.”

There is “an unmet need for a novel approach to provide unclonable security for pharmaceuticals to combat the widespread availability of counterfeits.”

The US government has certain rights in the invention, according to the patent. More information below:

Edible unclonable functions

A method of generating a physically unclonable function (PUF) for pharmaceutical authentication is disclosed which includes generating an edible (PUF), affixing the edible PUF onto a pharmaceutical in a random distribution, and generating a cryptographic key based on the randomly distributed and affixed edible PUF. The present disclosure generally relates to counterfeit measures, and in particular, to an arrangement concerning an edible unclonable function counterfeit measure.

US Patent No. US 20240146547 A1

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