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The Importance of Dry & Wet Labs in Medical Device Development

Updated: Sep 22, 2023

When developing a medical device, testing is conducted on a prototype in either a dry lab or wet lab setting. Both of these types of labs use different methods and tools to test and analyze data. Understanding the difference between dry lab testing and wet lab testing is essential for engineers developing medical devices.


Dry and wet lab

Dry Lab Testing:

Dry lab testing refers to a type of laboratory testing that does not involve the use of physical samples or materials. Instead, dry lab testing is conducted entirely through computer simulations, such as CAD tools. For Vita Group, these tools are essential for creating digital models of medical devices that can help in identifying design flaws, testing the functionality of the device, and reducing the risk of human error. Dry lab testing is also an efficient and cost-effective way to conduct research, as it eliminates the need for expensive and time-consuming laboratory work.


Engineers in dry and wet lab

Wet Lab Testing:

Wet labs, on the other hand, involve actual physical testing and analyzing of prototypes in a controlled laboratory setting. This can involve testing the device's performance under different conditions or subjecting it to various stresses to assess its durability, safety, and quality. Although dry lab testing can be a useful tool for simulating complex systems, it is often necessary to validate these simulations with wet lab testing. By comparing simulation results with physical measurements, the researcher can ensure that their models accurately represent real-world conditions, and identify areas where improvements are needed.


Wet lab

The Importance Of Using Both:

Both dry lab testing and wet lab testing have their own unique strengths and limitations, and each can provide important insights and data that the other may not be able to. Dry lab testing may not be able to account for all variables or accurately represent real-world conditions, while wet lab testing can be time-consuming and expensive, and may be limited by the availability of physical samples. By using both types of testing, researchers can address the limitations of each approach and obtain a more comprehensive view of the system being studied.

Using both types of labs can also help companies save money in the long run. By catching design flaws early on in the process, companies can avoid costly recalls or redesigns down the road. For example, if a prototype fails a wet lab test due to concerns around safety or efficacy, this information can be used to make design modifications before submitting the device for regulatory approval. By using both approaches, researchers gain a more complete understanding of their prototype.


Overall, while dry labs are useful for quickly testing out design modifications in a cost-effective way, wet labs are essential for providing valuable data on how a device will perform in real-world settings. Both types of labs are important for ensuring patient safety and efficacy while also saving time and resources during the prototyping phase. By using both types of labs together, medical device companies can improve their chances of developing successful products that meet regulatory requirements and provide real value to patients and healthcare providers alike.


If you have questions about the medical incubation process and want to learn more, book a call to meet with our CEO Jason Scherer.


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