Technology advances not only increase the speed and reduce the cost of analysis, but they also enable one to contemplate experiments for problems previously believed to be intractable. Such new experimental challenges in turn drive the development of additional technologies that will continue to enhance processes for exploring the mechanisms of drug action. On the horizon, advances in analytical sensitivity, compound-ionization procedures, and instrument design will dramatically impact the study of the ADME properties of drugs. Technological advances will also enhance analytical processes through miniaturization and parallel processing. New biological reagents made available through molecular biology and cell/tissue culture should provide a new level of understanding of the mechanisms that control the fate of compounds in vivo. With this understanding, better prediction of the fate of drugs before testing in humans has the potential to improve the speed of drug discovery, and assure that safer drugs are available to the patients who need them. We now discuss some of the advances that are expected to have the largest impact on drug-metabolism research.
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