Introduction to Multiple-Wavelength Spectrophotometric Measurements in Analytical and Clinical Chemistry

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Abstract

Spectrophotometry continues to be very important in analytical chemistry and is the single most important detection system in the clinical laboratory. Even recent clinical laboratory advances in high-pressure liquid chromatography and enzyme-linked immunochemistry depend on spectrophotometric measurements. Although measurements made at a single wavelength are most common, multiple-wavelength analyses are growing in importance and add to the capabilities of the modern laboratory. Multiple wavelength spectrophotometry has been used to measure multiple components in a complex mixture, to correct for interferences, and to increase sensitivity. Examples of these applications will be discussed individually with special reference to their relevance in clinical chemistry. These general principles will serve as an introduction to the three following contributions which describe commercial applications of multiple-wavelength spectrophotometry in the clinical chemistry laboratory. This chapter is not intended to be an exhaustive review, but to provide the reader with general insight into clinical chemistry applications and a bibliography to guide further study. Two recent reviews(1,2) are suggested for additional background.