Researchers at ITMO University, Buman Mosco State Technical University, and the University of Toronto have recently developed gel ink that's eco-friendly and safe to use even in the food industry.

Nanowerk report specified that the said development could be used to develop intricate or complicated images with the help of 3D printing.

Such images can be helpful as tags that will be contributors to anti-counterfeiting protection. The proposed approach is safe and environment-friendly, and as mentioned, it can even be safely used in the food business.

Results of the study, Multicolored Nanocolloidal Hydrogel Inks, came out in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

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Science Times - 'Nanocolloidal' Hydrogel Ink Potential for Anti-Counterfeiting Protection; Study Describes Results as Safe, Ecofriendly and Useful for Food Industry
(Photo: Kriplozoik on Wikimedia Commons)
RFID chips on products

'Anti-Counterfeiting' Protection Methods

As indicated in this report, the development of new anti-counterfeiting protection approaches is essential not just for manufacturers that lose a share of their income to counterfeit or faked goods but for customers, as well.

Essentially, low-quality knock-offs, specifically food products, drugs, and cosmetics, can be hazardous for customers.

The most famous anti-counterfeiting protection approaches are RFID tags and "invisible" images. The last-mentioned method has more potential, is eco-friendlier, and is safer.

Meanwhile, as RFID tags utilize rare-earth metals, images can be used through renewable resources, like organic and inorganic polymers, for instance.

Polymer-Based Gel Tags

The researcher said they succeeded in developing polymer-based gel tags, as described in DesignNews, that can have various images at once. More so, each such image is considered an optically active construction.

Furthermore, such gel tags can only be visible in detail when under monochromatic radiation, like, for example, at a particular wavelength, and it can be made different for each image.

This means that even if the perpetrators succeed in faking or falsifying a part of the tag, there is a good chance that they would not be able to counterfeit others.

In addition to that, Egor Ryabchenko, a student at the ChemBio Cluster of ITMO, the difference between the original and forge pattern will be apparent right away.

The tags developed at ITMO can be used not just on even surfaces but also on those with complicated geometry.

Protecting Brand Clothing  

The study authors noted that the tags do not infiltrate even though thin membranes, making it possible to use them, particularly in food packaging.

This recent invention is good for protecting brand clothing and the basis for even more complicated ink types that can be adjusted to the needs of certain customers.

For instance, manufacturers might need better thermal resistance and those who are producing brand-name clothing with better plasticity.

Moreover, the invention is ideal too, for the protection of brand clothing. Meaning, the tags look good, can be washed off easily using an organic solvent, and do not dye or damage fabrics.

For instance, there might be a need for equipment manufacturers for better thermal resistance, and those producing brand-name clothing products, better plasticity.

Experiments linked to ink formulas are among the future plans of the researchers, explained Ryabchenko. He added, by changing its composition, they will be able to give the ink new properties.

Related information about nanocolloidal inks is shown on Bernal Institute's YouTube video below:


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