This paper was published as Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 2004, 25 (8), pp. 442-447. It is available from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/01656147. DOI: 10.1016/j.tips.2004.06.009Metadata only entryThe exquisite sensitivity of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) is being used in biomedical applications to quantitate many isotopes, including 14C, 3H, 41Ca and 27Al, at attomole (10−18) concentrations. This enables compounds and metabolites to be measured in human urine and plasma after administration of low pharmacologically or toxicologically relevant doses of labelled chemicals and drugs. The detection of modified proteins or DNA in target organs after dosing with potential carcinogens has also been achieved in many studies. Advances aimed at increasing sample throughput and expanding applications by coupling AMS instruments directly to chromatographic separation systems are currently underway
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