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Applied DNA Wins Patent for Tagging Cellulosic Fibers

Applied DNA Sciences announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted a patent, “Methods of Marking Cellulosic Products” though the company’s CertainT platform.

The newly issued patent covers methods of tagging man-made cellulosic (MMC) fibers or materials with a DNA tag during production and later authenticating the nucleic acid-tagged MMC fibers and materials through detection techniques to confirm provenance and authenticity.

Applied DNA Sciences, based in Stony Brook, N.Y., noted that global MMC production volume more than doubled to 6.7 million metric tons in 2018 from 3 million in 1990, and is expected to continue to grow at an annual rate of 9 percent through 2024. MMCs include viscose, rayon, acetate, lyocell, Tencel, modal and cupro materials.

Most MMCs are primarily derived from wood. Heightened awareness related to the sourcing of wood raw materials from endangered or ancient forests, the social and environmental concerns relating to the chemicals used in production, as well as the amount of energy and water used to manufacture MMCs, has led to greater oversight of the MMC industry and requires proof that these materials come from controlled and sustainable sources that can be verified by scientific evidence, the company said.

“The use of MMC fibers and materials is moving the textile industry toward greater sustainability, but has also yielded social and environmental concerns related to deforestation and biodiversity,” MeiLin Wan, vice president of textile sales at Applied DNA, said.

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“In response, brands and retailers, such as H&M Group that has articulated a goal to only use MMC fibers from certified, responsibly managed sources in its products by 2025, are actively strengthening their sourcing policies to address these concerns,” Wan added. “Central to their initiatives is traceability of their MMC supply chains to feedstock levels. With these new patents, together with our linear DNA-based tagging platform, we can offer MMC fiber producers and manufacturers the unparalleled ability to ensure that their brands are real and safe.”

Transparency related to the source, origin and authenticity of MMCs is the key to unlocking valuable claims related to sustainable and ethical sourcing, “and this is important for the supply chain to know that their product and brand is secure from source to shelf,” Wayne Buchen, vice president of strategic sales at Applied DNA, said.

“The company continues to collaborate with its global network of MMC fiber producers and manufacturers to assure that their brands are verified and traceable,” Buchen said.

“With increased scrutiny of cellulosic fibers originating from certain geographic locations,” he added, “we plan to provide solutions to enable our partners to digitally verify their products through our CertainT portal, and also help our brand partners to authenticate their products through additional solutions that we offer for protecting hang tags, thread and packaging.”

Applied DNA is a provider of molecular technologies that enable supply chain security, anti-counterfeiting and anti-theft technology, product genotyping and pre-clinical nucleic acid-based therapeutic drug candidates.