Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Tagging Detects Counterfeit Equipment

The U.S. Army, after learning that counterfeit equipment entered the supply chain, is now developing a method for identifying counterfeit equipment by marking authentic equipment with DNA tags (Source: Brad Kroner).

Research Development and Engineering Command Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (RDECOM ECBC) Biologist Kim Berk places a paper assay into the imager to determine the authenticity of equipment (Source: Brad Kroner).

January 14, 2019 | Source: U.S.Army RDECOM ECBC,, RDECOM ECBC Public Affairs, 20 Dec 2018

In order to identify counterfeit equipment and remove them from the supply chain, RDECOM ECBC scientists have developed a method to use DNA tags to identify them.

A few years ago, the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee issued a report stating counterfeit components were frequently found in the supply chain, usually electronics. They noted that the equipment was generally of a lesser quality than required.

In response, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) funded a project researching the use of DNA tags to track components, a program conducted by the U.S. Army Research Development and Engineering Command Edgewood Chemical Biological Center. DNA was chosen for its stability, as it is robust and doesn’t degrade easily in different temperatures.