Paintable Physical Unclonable Functions using DNA

Adv Mater. 2023 Sep;35(35):e2302135. doi: 10.1002/adma.202302135. Epub 2023 Jul 9.


Controversy over artwork's authenticity is ongoing despite numerous technologies for copyright protection. Artists should build their own ways to protect the authority, but these are still open to piracy. Here, a platform is proposed for developing anticounterfeiting labels based on physical unclonable functions (PUFs), in an artist-friendly manner, brushstrokes. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), which is natural, biocompatible, and eco-friendly, can be applied as a paint that shows entropy-driven buckling instability of the liquid crystal phase. Brushed and wholly dried DNA exhibits line-shaped zig-zag textures with inherent randomness as a source of the PUF, and its primary performance and reliability are systematically examined. This breakthrough enables the utilization of these drawings in a wider range of applications.

Keywords: DNA; brushstrokes; evaporation-induced self-assembly; liquid crystals; physical unclonable functions.