Mertl studied biotechnology at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna. A central focus of her research to this point has been the further development of in-vitro test methods: Instead of animal testings, manufacturers of medical devices should be able to use laboratory tests on cells for their authorization procedures. Such alternative methods have recently appeared in the ISO standard 10993 for biological evaluation of medical devices. For her achievements in this field of research, including the "BioRelation" research project, Dr. Elisabeth Mertl was honored with the ACR Woman Award in 2019. In 2022, the biotechnologist received the Living Standards Award in the category "Enabling Solutions" for her research and the foundation she has laid for the transformation of standards.