1/12/15 Counterfeit drugs, which generally contain wrong doses and can be toxic, are believed to kill more than 700,000 people per year. This is a huge problem in the developing world where as much as a third of the available medicine is fake.
Researchers at U-M and in South Korea have been working on a way to make labels that change when you breathe on them revealing a hidden image. This method requires sophisticated equipment that makes a template of tiny features, 500 times smaller than a width of hair. This template makes labels that are printed in large rolls and costs about $1 per square inch. On the labels are tiny pillars which hide images written on the material beneath. The hidden image appears when the pillars trap moisture. All you have to do is breathe on the label and an image appears.
These nanopillars stick to plastics, fabric, paper and metal and the arrays are thought to be transferable easily to glass and leather. With this flexibility, this concept can be used on just about anything to enable people to tell the difference between genuine and counterfeit products. Something as simple as breathing on a product can help save lives!