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This study compares the performance of a reference method of HPLC to Raman spectroscopy (RS) for the analytical quality control (AQC) of complex therapeutic objects. We assessed a model consisting of a widely used anticancer drug, i.e., 5-fluorouracil, which was compounded in a complex medical device, i.e., an elastomeric portable infusion pump. In view of the main objective, the two methods provided excellent results for the analytical validation key criteria, i.e., trueness, precision and accuracy, ranging from 7.5 to 50mg/mL and in either isotonic sodium or 5% dextrose. The Spearman and Kendall correlation tests (p-value<1×10(-15)) and the statistical studies performed on the graphs confirm a strong correlation in the results between RS and the standard HPLC under the experimental conditions. The selection of a spectral interval between 700 and 1400cm(-1) for both the characterization and quantification by RS was the result of a gradual process optimization, combining matrix and packaging responses. In this new application, we demonstrate at least eight benefits of RS: (a) operator safety, (b) elimination of disposables, (c) elimination of analysis waste, which contributes to the protection of the environment, (d) a fast analytical response of less than 2min, (e) the ability to identify the solubilizing phase, (f) reduction of the risk of errors because no intrusion or dilution are needed, (g) negligible maintenance costs and (h) a reduction in the budget dedicated to technician training. Overall, we indicate the potential of non-intrusive AQC performed by RS, especially when the analysis is not possible using the usual techniques, and the technique's high potential as a contributor to the safety of medication.
PMID: 24463044 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]