Basics of analytical chemistry and mass spectrometry for medical professionals

karoly Vékey, Andras Telekes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


Analytical chemistry is aimed at determining the composition of a sample. It means the identity, molecular structure, quantity, and concentration of in principle all, but in practice some, components of the sample. In chemical and biochemical analysis, first a given compound needs to be identified and its structure determined. Structural studies are most often performed by spectroscopy (mostly nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) but also IR or UV), X-ray diffraction, or mass spectrometry, although a large number of other techniques are used as well. There are techniques (notably NMR and X-ray diffraction) capable of determining the structure of molecules with no or minimal prior information (up to approximately 1000 Da molecular mass), but these typically require a relatively large amount of pure compound. Following identification of a given compound, its amount (or concentration) needs to be determined as well (quantitation). As a given sample may contain thousands of different compounds in widely differing amounts, this is not a trivial task. Instead of structure identification and quantitation, often the biological effect (such as enzyme activity) is measured in the biomedical field.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedical Applications of Mass Spectrometry
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9780444519801
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)

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  • Cite this

    Vékey, K., & Telekes, A. (2008). Basics of analytical chemistry and mass spectrometry for medical professionals. In Medical Applications of Mass Spectrometry (pp. 7-18). Elsevier.