Progress in the sequencing of genomes has resulted in an increasing demand for a functional analysis of gene products in order to understand the underlying physiology. Proteomics has established itself as a highly valuable technology for producing functionally related data in an unparalleled fashion, but is methodologically restricted to the analysis of proteins with higher molecular masses . The development of a technology which covers peptides with low molecular weight and small proteins (0.5 to 15 kDa) was necessary, since peptides, amongst them families of hormones, cytokines and growth factors, play a central role in many biological processes. To summarise the technologies used for this approach the term peptidomics is introduced. In this article, we present the rationale and first results of a novel, universal peptide display approach for the analysis and visualisation of peptides and small proteins from biological samples. Special attention is given to samples derived from extracellular fluids such as blood plasma and cerebrospinal fluid. Additionally, a high throughput identification procedure for the analysis of peptides in their native and processed molecular form is outlined.