Clinical chemistry (also known as chemical pathology, clinical biochemistry or medical biochemistry) is the area of chemistry that is generally concerned with the analysis of bodily fluids for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. It is an applied form of biochemistry (not to be confused with medicinal chemistry, which involves basic research for drug development). The discipline originated in the late 19th century with the use of simple chemical reaction tests for various components of blood and urine. In the many decades since, other techniques have been applied as science and technology have advanced, including the use and measurement of enzyme activities, spectrophotometry, electrophoresis, and immunoassay. There are now many blood tests and clinical urine tests with extensive diagnostic capabilities.
Most current laboratories are now highly automated to accommodate the high workload typical of a hospital laboratory. Tests performed are closely monitored and quality controlled.
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