This book is the first of a two-volume project which attempts to treat the sample handling and detection processes in a liquid chromatographic system in an integrated fashion. The need for more selective and sensitive chromatographic methods to help solve the numerous trace analysis problems in complex samples is undisputed. However, few workers realize the strong interdependence of the various steps - sample handling, separation and detection - which must be considered if one wants to arrive at an optimal solution. By introducing a strong element of selectivity and trace enrichment in the sample preparation step, fewer demands are placed on the quality of the chromatography and often a simple UV detector can be used. By using a selective detection mode, i.e. a reaction detector, the sample handling step can frequently be simplified and more easily automated. The impact of such a ``total system' approach on handling series of highly complex samples such as environmental specimens or biological fluids can be easily imagined.
Each chapter includes sufficient references to the literature to serve as a valuable starting point for more detailed investigation. Special emphasis is placed on the sample handling, and high priority has been given to the treatment of chemical principles applied to the topics presented, rather than to instrumentation. Written by experienced practitioners, this volume will be of interest to investigators in many areas of application, including environmental scientists and those active in the clinical, pharmaceutical and bioanalytical fields.