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Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2018 Aug 13;57(33):10574-10578. doi: 10.1002/anie.201804895. Epub 2018 Jul 5.

Abiotic Sequence-Coded Oligomers as Efficient In Vivo Taggants for the Identification of Implanted Materials.

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Université de Strasbourg, CNRS, Institut Charles Sadron UPR22, 23 rue du Loess, 67034, Strasbourg Cedex 2, France.
Université Paris Diderot, Université Paris 13, CHU Bichat, INSERM U1148, 46 rue H. Huchard, 75018, Paris, France.
AixMarseille Univ., CNRS, ICR UMR7273, 13397, Marseille, France.


Sequence-defined oligourethanes were tested as in vivo taggants for implant identification. The oligomers were prepared in an orthogonal solid-phase iterative approach and thus contained a coded monomer sequence that can be unequivocally identified by tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). The oligomers were then included in small amounts (1 wt %) in square-centimeter-sized crosslinked poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) model films, which were intramuscularly and subcutaneously implanted in the abdomen of rats. After one week, one month, or three months of implantation, the PVA films were explanted. The rat tissues exposed to the implants did not exhibit any adverse reactions, which suggested that the taggants are not harmful and probably not leaching out from the films. Furthermore, the explanted films were immersed in methanol, as a solvent for oligourethanes, and the liquid extract was analyzed by mass spectrometry. In all cases, the oligourethane taggant was detected, and its sequence was identified by MS/MS.


anti-counterfeiting technologies; biomedical implants; information-containing macromolecules; sequence-defined polymers; sequencing


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