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Extractable/Leachable Chemistry Testing Strategies for Medical Devices

By: Matthew R Jorgensen, Ph.D., and Thor Rollins, BS, Nelson Laboratories; Allison Komiyama, Ph.D., RAC, AcKnowledge RS
Published: Medical Device Outsourcing

It has become more prevalent and acceptable to use the results of chemistry testing to assess the overall biocompatibility of medical devices. For many devices with prolonged or permanent patient contact, chemistry followed by toxicological assessment can provide a cost and time saving alternative to in vivo tests such as chronic, sub-chronic, genetic, and carcinogenicity testing. Manufacturers preparing to submit their device for approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rely on ISO 10993 standards and FDA guidance on the application of those standards in the planning of their chemistry testing. When it comes to the details of chemistry testing, however, the ISO standards are often vague. Furthermore, the recommendations regarding the appropriate level of testing rigor can vary within FDA. The following offers a brief overview of the framework provided by ISO 10993 guidance documents for extractable/leachable (E/L) testing, as well as three testing strategies that satisfy both ISO 10993 and FDA requirements.

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