Can LC and LC-MS ever replace immunoassays?

Immunoassays have been the technology of choice for the analysis of biomolecules for many decades across a wide range of applications in research, diagnostics and infectious disease monitoring. There are good reasons for the wide adoption of immunoassays but even such a well established and characterized technique has limitations and as such investigators are looking at alternative technologies. One such alternative is liquid chromatography (LC) and, more specifically, liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (LC-MS). This article will review both immunoassay and LC and LC-MS technologies and methodologies and discuss the advantages and limitations of both approaches. In addition, the next developments that will need to occur before there is widespread adoption of LC and LC-MS technology preferentially over immunoassays will be examined.

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