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  • Writer's pictureAfif Sani

Sterilization Validation for Medical Devices: Navigating ISO 11135 and ISO 11137 Standards

The safety and effectiveness of medical devices are non-negotiable in the healthcare industry. Sterilization validation stands as a pivotal process ensuring that medical devices are free from harmful microorganisms. Two key standards govern this process: ISO 11135 and ISO 11137. In this article, we'll dive deep into the importance of these standards and how they apply to the medical device industry.

Understanding Sterilization Validation

Sterilization validation is a documented procedure that confirms the effectiveness of a sterilization process. It provides verifiable evidence that the process, when precisely followed, consistently leads to the desired level of sterility (1).

ISO 11135: Ethylene Oxide Sterilization

ISO 11135 specifies the requirements for the development, validation, and routine control of an Ethylene Oxide (EtO) sterilization process for medical devices (2). This standard guides manufacturers through the necessary steps to ensure that their EtO sterilization process is both effective and reproducible.

Visit our article on ISO 11135 for more information:

ISO 11137: Radiation Sterilization

Radiation sterilization, covered by ISO 11137, involves the use of either gamma radiation, X-rays, or electron beams. This standard is part series, detailing the requirements for dose establishment and dosimetry aspects for ensuring a consistent and safe sterilization process (3).

Visit our article on ISO 11137 for more information:

Why These Standards Matter

Compliance with ISO 11135 and ISO 11137 helps medical device manufacturers to:

  • Ensure device sterility and patient safety.

  • Meet international regulatory requirements.

  • Avoid costly recalls and liability issues.

  • Gain trust from healthcare providers and patients.

How to Comply with ISO 11135 and ISO 11137

  1. Validation Plan: Develop a comprehensive plan that outlines the validation activities and responsibilities.

  2. Qualification Tests: Conduct installation qualification (IQ), operational qualification (OQ), and performance qualification (PQ) to ensure the sterilization process meets the required standards.

  3. Define Parameters: Establish critical parameters such as temperature, humidity, and radiation dose.

  4. Routine Monitoring: Implement routine process monitoring to ensure ongoing compliance.

Sterilization Validation and Patient Safety

The ultimate goal of sterilization validation is patient safety. By adhering to ISO 11135 and ISO 11137, manufacturers not only comply with international standards but also contribute to public health by providing sterile and safe medical devices.


ISO 11135 and ISO 11137 standards are essential for the medical device industry's commitment to safety. Understanding and implementing these standards are key to successful sterilization validation. By ensuring the effectiveness of sterilization processes, medical device manufacturers can protect patients and uphold their reputation in the market.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions on sterilization validation.


  1. "Sterilization of health care products — General requirements for characterization of a sterilizing agent and the development, validation and routine control of a sterilization process for medical devices," ISO 14937:2009.

  2. "Sterilization of health care products — Ethylene oxide — Requirements for the development, validation and routine control of a sterilization process for medical devices," ISO 11135:2014.

  3. "Sterilization of health care products — Radiation — Part 1: Requirements for the development, validation and routine control of a sterilization process for medical devices," ISO 11137-1:2006.

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