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What Exactly is my Test Article?


In this episode, Dr. Phil Smiraldo (NAMSA’s Senior Toxicologist) joins us to discuss the test article and the many challenges with identification and preparation. Throughout this discussion, we explore the many different types of test articles and help define what is considered patient contact and what is not. We also review how you can best work with your laboratory to define your test article preparation and make certain the test article definition is clear to the regulatory agency.

Listeners can expect to learn:

  • How to easily define their test article
  • Key points to consider when separating patient contacting and non-patient contacting devices
  • The risks of including non-patient contacting components in an extract


“One of the things we thought we’d elaborate on today is how do I define my test article.” – Sheri Krajewski

“We are not going to jump into the GLP regulations and jump into that definition, but we will help define the test article as it relates to biocompatibility.” – Don Pohl

“I’ve even worked through a scenario for a particular device where the customer in fact came on-site to help take it apart.” – Phil Smiraldo

“This stuff [prep instructions] needs to be written down clearly so anyone can follow.” – Don Pohl


*Please note that the opinions discussed throughout the podcast are their own and do not reflect that of their current or former employers.

Also be sure to check out our Biocompatibility Strategy Navigator.

Meet the Speakers


Phillip Smiraldo, PhD, DABT; Senior Toxicologist, NAMSA

Phillip holds a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Toledo Medical Center (formerly Medical College of Ohio) and a BS in Biology from Bowling Green State University (summa cum laude; with minors in Chemistry and Italian Language). He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (awarded two grants to support his research), authored several articles that were published in peer-reviewed journals (regarding his research of DNA repair in mammalian cells), and authored a book chapter appearing in Telomerases: Chemistry, Biology, and Clinical Applications, and has provided several oral presentations. Dr. Smiraldo’s timeless experience in the medical device industry encompasses toxicology, biological safety and preclinical study design, as well as extensive preparation of biological and toxicological risk assessments for submission in countries complying with EU and US FDA regulations. Prior to his current position as Toxicologist, he was a Medical Research Scientist and Study Director (NAMSA), overseeing special/custom preclinical functional studies, preclinical safety studies and simulated-use chemistry studies.  Before joining NAMSA, Dr. Smiraldo was a Staff Toxicologist at WIL Research (approximately 2.5 years), where he was a Study Director of preclinical safety studies for pharmaceutical- and chemical-based products.

Sheri Krajewski; Product Marketing Manager – Biological Safety, NAMSA

Sheri joined NAMSA in 2003 and currently serves as Global Product Marketing Manager of Biological Safety. She has supported customers in a variety of commercial operations and management roles, and was an integral leader in the development of NAMSA’s biological safety consulting business. Additionally, Sheri created the much sought-after NAMSA Training Series for the biological evaluation of medical devices. Prior to NAMSA, Sheri was the marketing lead for a mechanical fatigue laboratory and consulting business where she worked primarily with cardiovascular implant manufacturers. Sheri holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Nebraska.

Don PohlPrincipal Product Development Strategist, NAMSA

Don has over 25 years of experience in the preclinical evaluation of medical devices for biological safety. During his career, he has held a variety of positions ranging from laboratory supervision/management, GLP Study Director, Technical Specialist for Laboratory Information Management System, Technical Specialist and Project Manager for Biological Safety and Biological Risk Assessment consultation. He has specific expertise in the evaluation process outlined in ISO 10993-1, as well as the expectations of the U.S. FDA and other global regulatory bodies in their interpretation of the biological safety evaluation of medical devices. Don holds a Bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University.