Powerful combination of analytical and chemometric methods for the photodegradation of 5-Fluorouracil
The photodegradation of the antineoplastic drug 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) under the action of UV light was studied using UV–vis spectroscopy and High Performance Liquid Chromatography coupled to Diode Array Detector and High Resolution Mass Spectrometry (HPLC-DAD-HRMS). To analyze, integrate and interpret the degradation kinetics, the Multivariate Curve Resolution-Alternating Least Squares (MCR-ALS) chemometric method has been applied. The high complexity of the photodegradation process of this drug involving up to seven different photoproducts showed the advantages of the proposed approach which provides simultaneously mechanistic and structural information explaining the 5-FU photodegradability. Moreover, this study provides a new tool to be used for elucidating the photodegradation kinetics at real time.