DNA identity

Design and generation of compatible building blocks for the generation of DNA molecules for information storage of biological and non-biological data

Contact person

Prof. Andreas Schober
Nano-Biosystems Engineering Group

Phone: +49 3677 69-3387
e-mail: andreas.schober@tu-ilmenau.de

Funding information

Project leader: Thüringer Aufbaubank

Project number: 2018 FE 9104

Participating groups: Nano-Biosystems Engineering Group 

Period of funding: 01.01.2018 - 30.09.2020

Project information

The technique we propose of providing DNA for the functional marking of objects in the broadest sense (components in machines, machine tools; cars, as well as entire household appliances, small appliances, tools, construction machinery, packaging, etc.) enables the information relating to the object to be encoded directly and specifically in the DNA. We design and synthesize long, modular, double-stranded DNAs, which are more stable than single-stranded DNAs. In the code of the DNA intrinsic features of the object to be labelled are defined. These can be, for example, manufacturer, serial number, date of manufacture, factory, expiry date and run-time restrictions, delivery customer, commissioning date, etc. Reading the DNA would therefore directly provide information not only about the origin of the object, but also about detailed information. A database comparison, as is necessary with the previous procedures, would also be possible with our procedure, but not necessary. The production of this complex coding on DNA is surprisingly simple and will be achieved by an innovative combinatorial method, for which a patent is currently being applied for.

With our method, DNA marking can be significantly expanded and can also be used for product tracking and protection against product piracy. The DNA used in our case could also be used only as marking DNA. The danger of interaction with natural DNA (horizontal gene transfer) is excluded due to the specific synthetic sequences.