The initial stimulus for writing this book arose out of difficulties experienced in recommending a single suitable textbook for students on courses in which the analytical aspects of biochemistry were a major component. Although there are many books on analytical chemistry in general and clinical chemistry in particular, many omit the biochemical aspects of analysis such as enzymol-ogy and immunology while others do not cover the basic science of the subject. The objective was to bring together in one book those topics which we consider to be essential to the subject of analytical biochemistry.
In the introductory section to each chapter, there is a brief explanation of the scientific basis of the topic and this is followed by a discussion of the analytical methods which are relevant. While it is not intended that it should be a book of 'recipes', technical details for many of the methods described are given. This will help those readers with no practical experience to appreciate the steps involved in the analysis while at the same time giving sufficient detail for the method to be developed in practice. It is intended that the book will provide enough information to enable a student to select a technique or series of techniques which would be appropriate for a particular analytical problem and to be able to develop a valid and reliable analytical method.
The topics covered in this book fall into three main groups. Analytical techniques such as spectroscopy, chromatography, etc. are particularly important in analytical biochemistry as well as in analytical chemistry generally. The principles of each technique are explained and the scope and applications are discussed. There are chapters on enzymes, antibodies and radioisotopes, substances which it may be necessary to detect and measure but which also can be very useful in a variety of analytical methods. Here again, the basic theory is explained before discussing their applications in analytical biochemistry. Finally, there are four chapters which explain the chemical nature and methods of analysis of the major groups of biologically important compounds, namely, carbohydrates, amino acids, proteins and lipids. While it is appreciated that the range of compounds in this final section could be considerably extended it has been deliberately restricted to those groups which we consider to be of particular biochemical importance.
At the end of each chapter, several books are listed for further reading on the subject but it is suggested that the following books would be suitable for further reading on the topic of biochemistry of amino acids, carbohydrates, proteins and lipids.
xii Preface to the first edition
J.W. Suttie, Introduction to biochemistry. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, USA.
H.R. Mahler and E.H. Cordes, Biological chemistry. Harper and Row, New York, USA.
A. White, P. Handler and E.L. Smith, Principles of biochemistry. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, USA.
We would like to thank Dr Rodney Pollitt for reading the draft text and for his invaluable comments. In addition, we would like to thank those colleagues who have helped in various ways and Mrs P. Holme for typing the manuscript.
David J. Holme Hazel Peck
Sheffield City Polytechnic
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