Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) has been adopted as a powerful bioanalytical method for human studies in the areas of pharmacology and toxicology. The exquisite sensitivity (10-18 mol) of AMS has facilitated studies of toxins and drugs at environmentally and physiologically relevant concentrations in humans. Such studies include risk assessment of environmental toxicants, drug candidate selection, absolute bioavailability determination, and more recently, assessment of drug-target binding as a biomarker of response to chemotherapy. Combining AMS with complementary capabilities such as high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) can maximize data within a single experiment and provide additional insight when assessing drugs and toxins, such as metabolic profiling. Recent advances in the AMS technology at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have allowed for direct coupling of AMS with complementary capabilities such as HPLC via a liquid sample moving wire interface, offering greater sensitivity compared to that of graphite-based analysis, therefore enabling the use of lower 14C and chemical doses, which are imperative for clinical testing. The aim of this review is to highlight the recent efforts in human studies using AMS, including technological advancements and discussion of the continued promise of AMS for innovative clinical based research.
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