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Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.
TagCyx Biotechnologies

DNP and TagCyx Biotechnologies Jointly Develop Anti-Counterfeiting Printing Ink

Containing Difficult to Replicate Artificial DNA


Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) and TagCyx Biotechnologies (TagCyx), the venture arm of RIKEN, have jointly developed a printing ink with a highly effective anti-counterfeit feature, through the integration of artificial DNA that is extremely difficult to replicate. This artificial DNA based ink is virtually impossible for third parties to replicate, and as it makes it possible to achieve powerful judgments of authenticity can be used in anti-counterfeiting efforts connected with high-valued added printing requiring strong security, such as bank notes or cash vouchers.

[Developmental Backdrop]

Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, consists of two long chains of nucleotides twisted into a double helix and joined by hydrogen bonds between the bases adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine that transmit hereditary characteristics. There are increasing examples of using this DNA structure in judgments of authenticity, including verification of genuine goods, and anti-counterfeiting, based on the arbitrary-design of those base sequences. As each DNA sequence is unique, and no two identical DNA base sequences exist, DNA has become a focus of sophisticated anti-counterfeiting technology. However, it has so far been possible to replicate the DNA used via the use of specialized analytical equipment or analytical technology, leading to the need for even higher level anti-counterfeiting technology.

DNP and TagCyx have collaborated in the development of DNA ink with a significantly scaled-up anti-counterfeiting effect through the use of artificial DNA that is extremely difficult to replicate, while capitalizing on the natural attributes of the underlying natural DNA.

[Overview of Ink Containing Artificial DNA]

The newly developed DNA ink uses artificial DNA developed by TagCyx. In addition to the four base sequences, this DNA also integrates artificially created base pairs. Unique, specialized know how is necessary in order to analyze DNA, making it extremely difficult to perform third-party replication. The newly developed DNA ink is characterized by high level analytical precision, and even in cases of the existence of externally infiltrated DNA, such as via human contact, as the artificial DNA includes artificial bases it is possible to distinguish this from the infiltrated DNA, helping prevent cases of misidentification.

Biomolecules, such as DNA, see impaired storage capabilities depending on the environmental conditions, such as light, temperature and humidity. These storage issues have been improved in the newly developed DNA ink. In addition to using artificial DNA which has a base sequence that is resilient to light, the surface of the printed materials is coated with a protective ink layer, preventing the exposure of the artificial DNA, and making it difficult to receive the adverse effects of environmental conditions. At the same time, it has also been made possible to detect the DNA included in the ink, via a uniquely developed technology.

[Types of Authenticity Judgment Using ink Containing Artificial DNA]

The following two styles of authenticity judgment using ink containing artificial DNA may be selected:

1, Simple authentication

Verification is made of the presence or absence of DNA in the ink. Such verification requires a minimum of half a day.

2, Final authentication

Verification is performed by analyzing the DNA sequence in the ink. Such verification requires a minimum of 1-1/2 days.


Production costs for cash vouchers etc. can be kept to a premium of 10 percent to 20 percent over that charged on a per unit basis for non-DNA ink. This is based on a 500,000 lot basis.

[Looking Ahead]

DNP and TagCyx will conduct sales targeting security products, including bank note, passports and official documents in Japan and overseas, aiming for sales of approximately 300 million yen per year.

* Product price, specification and service content listed in this news release are current on the date of the announcement. This data may change without notice. We apologize for any inconvenience.