NJCBM Mini Symposium on Nerve

Basak Clements

  • Portrait
  • Basak Clements, PhD
  • Development of Tyrosine-derived Polycarbonate Braided Peripheral Nerve Regeneration Conduits for Long Nerve Gaps


Basak Clements, Ph.D., currently works at Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) Research and Development, BioTherapeuticsMaterial Sciences as an Associate Director. In her role, she is responsible for leading efforts on raw material risk assessments and control strategies, understanding and characterization of raw materials, and supplier collaborations supporting Janssen’s portfolio of monoclonal antibodies, cell and gene therapies and vaccines. Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson,Basakwas a Senior Manager in External Supply, Raw Materials and Devices group and a Senior Scientist in Process Development-Materials Science group at Amgen in Thousand Oaks, CA.Prior to joining Amgen,Basakwas first a post-doctoral fellow and then a post-doctoral researcher at the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials at Rutgers University from 2010 to 2014, where she worked on peripheral nerve regeneration research. She holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Chemical Engineering degrees from the Middle East Technical University, Turkey and a Ph.D. Pharmaceutical Sciences / Chemical Engineering from the University of Alberta, Canada.


Peripheral nerves are intrinsically capable of regeneration, but they can only do so unaided across small gaps. Patients with untreatable nerve injuries face permanent loss of motor control and/or sensation. Synthetic conduits have been effective in bridging small gaps (<3cm) but fail to do so for larger gaps to their suboptimal flexibility, degradation rate and biocompatibility. Regeneration across long gaps will require a conduit that is porous to allow for nutrient diffusion and is capable of bending during patient movement without kinking or compression.    

This talk will summarize the development of tyrosine-derived polycarbonate nerve conduits at the NJCBM. As part of this work, braided nerve regeneration conduits with the potential of bridging long nerve gaps were developed and evaluated in vivo. Braiding imparts excellent conduit flexibility, kink resistance and porosity. These favorable features overcome the shortcomings of synthetic conduits and create a suitable environment for nerve axons to cross long nerve gaps.