The purpose of the collected data must be clear, it must reflect facts and be accurate.

The protocol should specify a sufficient number of replicate process runs to demonstrate consistency in results and measure any process variations between runs.

Today’s designs are complex and sophisticated, and the process of cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing reusable devices can be complex.

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Reusable medical devices must be designed to function safely and effectively following sterilization in a health-care setting.

By definition, they must be designed to withstand multiple exposures to sterilants or disinfectants without losing their ability to function effectively.

Laser-Welding Validation: A Case Study While this article analyzes a minimally invasive surgical tool to illustrate the basic laser-welding validation process, this process applies to all laser-welding applications.

Reusable medical devices have been used in healthcare facilities for more than a century.

For the FDA, its expertise in evaluation of therapeutic chemicals does not translate readily to the approval of devices controlled by computer software.

Steinmeier and Lisa Schaller In the medical device world, laser welding encompasses a wide range of applications and part sizes.

This involves providing instructions for reuse and conducting tests that validate the instructions.

Proving sterilization validation or disinfection efficacy is only part of the equation; other issues related to medical device function, physical integrity, and biocompatibility testing must also be addressed.

Validation ensures that the right product was made, and verification ensures that the product was made right.

Manufacturers should validate their laser-welding process for four reasons: , the validation process consists of six main components: the validation plan, equipment installation qualification, equipment operational qualification, process qualification, process validation, and product performance qualification.

The FDA has developed well-understood protocols for the testing of chemical agents and there is a significant scientific understanding of the procedures and tests that are performed prior to the granting of approval for new medicines.