Biocompatibility Testing

Three-Day Webinar Series: Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Testing Regulatory Updates, Trends, and Anticipated Changes

Learn from the industry-leading experts at Nelson Laboratories in the three-day webinar series Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Testing Regulatory Updates, Trends, and Anticipated Changes including FDA, ISO, USP, and MDRs.

The experts at Nelson Labs are teaming with MD+DI to bring a live three-day webinar event that provides manufacturers of medical devices and pharmaceutical products with the most up-to-date regulatory updates, trends, and anticipated changes (including FDA, ISO, USP, and MDRs). Online registration is currently available on the MD+DI website. Many of those speaking contribute to committees that provide global guidance to safeguard patient health; each webinar will offer 15 minutes for audience questions with these experts. Details for each webinar are as follows:


Title: Assessing Biocompatibility for Medical Devices: Updates, Trends, and Anticipated Changes

Date: Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Time: 11:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time (2:00 PM Atlantic Daylight Time)

Duration: 1 hour


This presentation will discuss the recent and upcoming changes to regulatory documents and standards and how they will impact the overall biocompatibility assessment of medical devices. The presentation will include:

  • Discussion about how biocompatibility assessments are affected by the recent updates to the ISO 10993-1 document and the new European MDRs.
  • Anticipated changes to ISO 10993-18. Since the use of chemistry in the biocompatibility assessment of medical devices is gaining traction, the document that outlines how to use chemical characterization for these assessments is undergoing major revisions.
  • An overview of changes that are expected with the acceptance of in-vitro irritation testing.
  • A thorough review of the impact of the recently finalized ISO 18562 standard which specifically targets respiratory contact devices.


Thor Rollins, B.S., RM (NRCM)
Director, Toxicology and E&L Consulting

Matthew R. Jorgensen, PhD
Chemical and Materials Scientist


Title: Sterilization Methodologies and Packaging Integrity Testing: Updates, Trends, and Anticipated Changes

Date: Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Time: 11:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time (2:00 PM Atlantic Daylight Time)

Duration: 1 hour

Sterilization methodologies and packaging integrity testing are necessary to ensure patient safety. The sterilization portion of the webinar series discusses recent and upcoming changes to regulatory documents and standards such as:

  • Changes that impact steam, radiation, hydrogen peroxide, and ethylene oxide sterilization modalities.
  • What to expect in the new ISO document for hydrogen peroxide sterilization.

As part of the packaging presentation key points regarding the new European MDRs will be reviewed, including:

  • How medical device manufacturers can collect and document objective evidence of compliance for their packaging, look at designs that prevent microbial contamination at the point of use, and justify that the package is suitable for current use.
  • An introduction to a new leak-testing technology, Mass Extraction, that demonstrates container closure integrity in a non-destructive and rapid manner, will be presented. This new test meets the deterministic requirements as outlined in the newly published USP chapter 1207.


Martell K. Winters, B.S., SM (NRCM)
Director, Scientific Competency

Jason Pope, B.S., ASQ CQA
Senior Scientist

Wendy Mach, RM (NRCM), CQA (ASQ)
Packaging Section Leader


Title: Cleanliness Testing for Medical Devices: Updates and Trends

Date: Thursday, 28 September 2017

Time: 11:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time (2:00 PM Atlantic Daylight Time)

Duration: 1 hour


This presentation will cover the latest updates and current trends for medical device cleanliness testing. This webinar will include:

  • A review of the upcoming and highly anticipated orthopedic implant cleanliness ISO document.
  • A discussion about the testing considerations for certain additive manufacturing processes.
  • Guidance updates for reusable device validations.
  • An update regarding the reprocessing of single-use devices.


Alpa Patel, B.S., RM (NRCM)
Senior Scientist

Alexa Tatarian
Study Director III

Paul L. Littley, B.S.E
Consulting Manager

Nelson Labs Experts Invited to Present at Joint Conference

Thor Rollins, consulting manager, and Audrey Turley, research scientist, have been invited to speak at the joint conference of the Association of Analytical Communities Southern California Section (AOAC SCS) and Food and Drug Agency (FDA) 2016 Spring Conference. Rollins and Turley will be presenting the morning of Wednesday, April 27 at Chapman University, School of Pharmacy, Irvine. Click here for the full agenda.

DSC01871Rollins will be presenting on the application of chemical characteristics to medical devices. His presentation will cover how the industry is taking extractible and leachable applications and applying them to medical devices. The discussion will focus on what the challenges are, what benefits they have, where we are right now with the program and speculate about what these applications mean to the future of medical devices.

“I am excited for the opportunity to contribute to the discussion with colleagues and FDA experts about the future of the science behind biocompatibility and medical devices,” said Thor Rollins.

Turley will be presenting on in vitro alternatives to traditional animal testing. Specifically, she will be talking about in vitro irritation, sensitization and thrombogencity.

Visit the Nelson Labs website to view recent presentations by Rollins, How to Use Biocompatibility to Evaluate Changes in Medical Devices, and Turley, New Approaches to Assessing Biocompatibility for Medical Devices.

Alternatives To In Vivo Biocompatibility Testing

Reconstructed human epidermis (RHE) for in vitro skin irritation and sensitization testing.

Reconstructed human epidermis (RHE) provides an accurate and reliable test system for in vitro skin irritation and sensitization testing.

By: Daniel Olsen, Senior Laboratory Analyst II, Nelson Laboratories

The landscape of biocompatibility assessment of medical devices is an ever-changing and evolving one. Recently, there has been a lot of effort put into the development of alternatives to in vivo biocompatibility testing. Expanding technological capability and increased scientific understanding of the key events in complex biological responses is making this shift to in vitro alternatives possible by enabling the development of accurate, sensitive, and reliable test methods.

Because of the large amount of toxicological data available and increased sensitivity compared to animal tests, the advanced chemical characterization of medical device extractables is largely being seen as a potential replacement for many in vivo systemic toxicity endpoints. This is reflected in Figure 1 of ISO 10993-1, which lists chemical characterization as a first step in the biological evaluation of a new medical device.

Another area that is making great progress in the transition to in vitro alternatives is that of skin irritation and sensitization testing. A number of in vitro test methods for assessing skin irritation and sensitization have been validated and approved for use in chemical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical testing1-3. Many of these methods are being successfully adapted for use in medical device assessment. The final preparations are currently underway for a round-robin validation of in vitro skin irritation testing for medical devices. In addition, recently published research shows promising results for in vitro sensitization using medical device extracts4.

Nelson Laboratories is committed to scientific advancement and is actively engaged in research to assist in the development of safe and reliable in vitro alternative methods. We believe that this transition will be largely beneficial to medical device manufacturers, testing laboratories, and end users.

For more information on these important developments Daniel recommends you read Evaluation of an In Vitro Human Dermal Sensitization Test for Use with Medical Device Extracts, Better Animal Testing Alternatives Are Coming to U.S., and review Nelson Labs’ 2015 SOT poster presentation, Extractable Positive Control for In Vitro Skin Irritation Testing of Medical Devices.


  1. OECD. Test No. 439: In Vitro Skin Irritation.  (OECD Publishing).
  2. OECD. Test No. 442C: In Chemico Skin Sensitisation.  (OECD Publishing).
  3. OECD. Test No. 442D: In Vitro Skin Sensitisation.  (OECD Publishing).
  4. Coleman, K. P. et al. Evaluation of an In Vitro Human Dermal Sensitization Test for Use with Medical Device Extracts. Applied In Vitro Toxicology 1, 118-130, doi:10.1089/aivt.2015.0007 (2015).