To deal with the crisis of counterfeit electronics flooding into the US defensesupply chain, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), a procurement and supply arm of the U.S. Department of Defense, is considering a mandate requiring defense contractors to use the authentication services of Stony Brook, NY-based Applied DNA Sciences (APDN). If a mandate goes into effect, DLA would require contractors to implement APDN’s SigNature® DNA marking program for microcircuits provided to the military. Defense contractors would have to prove that their microcircuits are marked with SigNature DNA.

SigNature DNA marks items with plant-based DNA.
SigNature DNA uses plant-based DNA to mark items, which then carry with them an assurance of originality. In effect, the DNA marks provide a traveling, high-tech proof of authenticity, thus making it possible to prevent nonauthentic items from finding their way into the military supply chain. Used comprehensively, companies can set up a “screen” where only authentic microcircuits will pass through.

SigNature DNA may be applied to nearly any surface, or mixed with inks, glues, or other substances. In the case of microcircuits, SigNature DNA is combined with the ink that is used to print information, such as the date and lot codes on microcircuits. The mark is highly robust and can resist extremes of temperature and radiation. Using a quick, non-forensic scan, it may be detected at any point along the supply chain. If a full forensic analysis is desired, the SigNature DNA mark may be analyzed and authenticated at an APDN forensic laboratory.

Both steps — initial scan and lab authentication—are being tested with uniformly successful results to date. The SigNature DNA full-production-scale project is supported by DLA and managed by the not-for-profit consultancy Logistics Management Institute (LMI).

Applied DNA Sciences
Stony Brook, NY

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