The development and general applications of capillary electrophoresis (CE) in the field of clinical chemistry are discussed. It is shown how the early development of electrophoresis was closely linked to clinical testing. The rise of gel electrophoresis in clinical chemistry is described, as well as the eventual developments that lead to the creation and the use of modern CE. The general principles of CE are reviewed and the potential advantages of this method in clinical testing are examined. Finally, an overview is presented of several areas in which CE is now being developed for use with clinical samples.