Anti-counterfeit edible integral lens array for pharmaceuticals

Period of Performance: 09/01/2014 - 08/31/2015


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Boulder Nonlinear Systems, Inc.
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Owing to the high cost of pharmaceuticals, there has become an ever increasing incidence of drug counterfeiting which has entered the market place. These counterfeit products represent significant danger to the public as it denies them safe access to needed medications. Current technologies to thwart counterfeiters include special packaging labels, ensuring lot and source of drug. However, these packages do not prevent refilling of empty bottles with counterfeit dosage forms. As an increased measure to prevent counterfeiting, the proposed effort will demonstrate the scalable manufacturability of a "per tablet" 3-D serial number labeling process. In Phase I we demonstrated UV writing to onto commercially available edible ink deposited on edible paper through an integral edible lens array. In addition, we demonstrated the ability of the spatial light modulator to project simple do-matrix patterns, relay an image, or if required, to produce a detailed holographic projection. This flexibility, along with the added capability of the lens arrays, provides a matrix of choices for te level of complexity of encoded information which itself relates to the degree of difficulty in manufacturing and of course the associated cost of protecting the pharmaceutical. This will provide the industry with a sliding scale of capabilities in terms of information encoding. Everything from simple patterns to enable traceability of common over the shelf and well-established drugs to more complex encoded information to protect high end pharmaceuticals that are more likely to be the target of counterfeiting attempts would be available. During Phase II we will study the trade-offs in manufacturability and cost to develop a variable "custom" manufacturing process that would including everything from simple marking to 3-D imaging using lens arrays or even constructing full holograms.