Many products such as banknotes, spare parts for automobiles etc. are often counterfeited. According to the EU, product piracy, illegal overproduction, parallel imports and re-imports now account for 10% of world trade in counterfeit goods, which corresponds to an international loss of up to 500 billion euros. In addition to loss of sales, the companies affected have to accept additional damage to their image and, in the worst case, even product liability litigation for counterfeit products.
The species-rich group of diatoms is characterised by two interesting characteristics: on the one hand its silicate shell is extremely stable and on the other hand its great biodiversity is also reflected in an impressive variety of forms.
The combination of both features makes these microscopically small particles interesting for use as product protection. These microalgae are to be attached directly to the product as marking particles, thus increasing counterfeit protection.
Within the framework of the ZIM project "Secucell" funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, a process was developed together with the project partner POLYSECURE-GmbH, Freiburg i.Br., to modify these microparticles and use them as marking particles.