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How does BioNote work?

Importantly, BioNote does not rely on killing microbes on contact, like other solutions. Uniquely, BioNote works in a more innovative, fundamental and sustainable way using nature’s ability to keep surfaces clean: when microbes land on a surface, biofilms are formed which creates an attractive environment for other microbes to also join in. It is the biofilm which then becomes a potential health hazard. The patented technology in the BioNote material prevents contamination from forming in the first place by disrupting harmful microbial colonisation thereby keeping banknotes safer and cleaner for longer. It is a new science for the banknote industry and very different to anti-bacterial products.


Organic Banknote Protection

Inovink has brought to the banknote printing industry a newly patented, novel material called BioNote which is designed to keep banknotes cleaner for longer. BioNote can be added to all types of protective varnish coatings used in banknote printing and can also be added to paper and polymer substrates during the manufacturing stage or during the opacification process. Inovink has a long history of developing additive materials for banknotes and is the owner of some thirty patents worldwide, all of them banknote related.

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What is the science behind BioNote?


Inovink spent four years researching BioNote with their development partner, a Unilever joint venture company. Inovink’s research showed that a naturally occurring material used in marine ecosystems can be applied to banknotes to fundamentally inhibit microbial growth, thereby preventing a problem before it even has a chance to start. The active material in BioNote is a furanone analogue chemistry which is known to provide effective, broad spectrum microbial, fungal and algae inhibitory action.

BioNote environmental benefits


BioNote is a colourless organic material inspired by nature. The primary mode of action is a protective material that stops bacteria from reproducing. In comparison to anti-bacterial technologies such as silver, furanone derivatives are deemed non-toxic to humans and do not drive antimicrobial resistance. These are the significant ecological advantages of BioNote when compared to products used in banknotes today, such as silver-based anti-bacterial solutions. BioNote therefore compliments the wider banknote industry initiative to make banknotes more eco-friendly and sustainable.

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BioNote Independent Testing 


Inovink overprinted polymer and paper banknote substrates with banknote varnish containing varying concentrations of BioNote material. Printability of the varnish was not affected by the presence of BioNote and subsequent independent laboratory tests (crumpling, abrasion etc) proved that the inherent protective benefits of the banknote varnish were not diminished by the inclusion of BioNote.


Subsequently, BioNote banknote samples were submitted to an independent microbiology research organisation who carried out biofilm efficacy testing to international standards using an extensive library of biofilm forming species. Shown here is one example demonstrating BioNote protection capabilities where a banknote substrate was seeded with unrealistically high numbers of microbes.

Is BioNote effective in banknote production?


Very small quantities (parts per million) of BioNote material are required to be effective on banknotes. BioNote does not affect the colour of banknote substrates or the opacity of overcoat varnishes, be they water, solvent based or UV curable varnishes. BioNote material can be mixed into the protective varnish at the banknote print works or can be added at the varnish manufacturers’ premises. When implementing BioNote in the substrate then this would be done at the substrate manufacturers’ mill.

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Why Inovink?

Inovink has considerable experience of adding materials to banknote printing products. Over thirty-five billion banknotes circulating today use security material additives developed and patented by Inovink. All Inovink’s banknote materials have been independently tested and proven by central banks and their suppliers. To find out more about BioNote and the detailed, independent testing by world class laboratories please contact Inovink using the details here or contact us directly on We would be pleased to send customers BioNote samples for their own production trials.

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How will Inovink work with central banks and their suppliers to supply BioNote?


BioNote is available to central banks, banknote printers and suppliers. In addition to working directly with central banks, Inovink partners with banknote printers and ink manufacturers who may wish to specify BioNote. BioNote can be added at any part of the supply chain and therefore central banks and banknote printers do not need to change their current suppliers, or for that matter, the design of a current banknote series. As an experienced independent supplier, Inovink works in all stages of the banknote supply chain and will ship test quantities of BioNote upon request.

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