Jessica L. Sparks, Ph.D.

Research Highlights

Research Interests

  • Liver biomechanics and mechanobiology
  • Liver tissue engineering
  • Interstitial flow
  • 3D cell culture environments
  • 3D printing

Research Projects

  • Biomechanical modeling of decellularized liver perfusion
  • 3D printing of hydrogel materials with tunable elastic and viscoelastic properties
Portrait of Jessica L. Sparks

Associate Professor

64C Engineering Building
513-529-0764
sparksj6@MiamiOH.edu

Degrees

  • Ph.D.—Biomedical Engineering, The Ohio State University—2007
  • M.S.—Anatomy, The Ohio State University—2007
  • B.S.—Pre-Medicine and Philosophy, University of Notre Dame—1999

Experience

Academic Experience

  • Associate Professor; Chemical, Paper and Biomedical Engineering Department; Miami University; Oxford, OH; 2012–present
  • Assistant Professor; Department of Biomedical Engineering; Wake Forest University School of Medicine; Winston-Salem, NC; 2008–2012
  • Instructor; Department of Biomedical Engineering; Wake Forest University School of Medicine; Winston-Salem, NC; 2007–2008
  • Primary Faculty; Virginia Tech — Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences; Winston-Salem, NC; 2007–2012

Professional Experience

  • The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, Graduate Fellow, OSU Distinguished University Fellowship, 2007
  • The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, Graduate Research Assistant, Biomedical Engineering Department, 2003–2007
  • The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, Graduate Fellow, OSU Distinguished University Fellowship, 2002–2003

Professional Memberships

  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Member, 2006–present
  • Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), Member, 2009–present
  • Society of Simulation in Healthcare (SSH), Member, 2009–2013
  • Association for Surgical Education (ASE), Member, 2011–2014
  • American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), Member, 2012–2013

Principal Publications

Publications

  • Fitzgerald M.M.. Bootsma K., Berberich J.A., Sparks J.L. (2015) Tunable Stress Relaxation Behavior of an Alginate-Polyacrylamide Hydrogel: Comparison with Muscle Tissue. Biomacromolecules 16(5):1497-1505.
  • Han S., Ham T.R., Haque S., Sparks J.L., Saul J.M. (2015) Alkylation of Human Hair Keratin for Tunable Hydrogel Erosion and Drug Delivery in Tissue Engineering Applications. Acta Biomaterialia 23:201-213.
  • Recker S., Bukovec M., Sparks J.L. (2015) Effects of Hydrostatic Pressure Exposure on Hepatic Progenitor Cells. Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation 51:214-221.
  • Sparks, J.L., Vavalle N., Kasting K., Long B., Tanaka M., Sanger P., Schnell K., Conner-Kerr T. (2015) Use of Silicone Materials to Simulate Tissue Biomechanics as Related To Deep Tissue Injury. Advances in Skin and Wound Care Research 28(2):59-68.
  • McMullen S., Maggio E., Millard N., Dennis A., Landrum B., Alexander J., Weeks M., Sparks J.L. (2014) Development and Verification of a Hydrostatic Pressure Chamber for Determining the Effect of Pressure on Liver Progenitor Cells. Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation 50:68-76.
  • Kemper A., Santago C., Stitzel J., Sparks J.L., Duma S. (2013) Effect of Strain Rate on the Material Properties of Human Liver Parenchyma in Unconfined Compression. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering 135(10), 104503, doi: 10.1115/1.4024821.
  • Evans, D.W., Moran, E.C., Baptista, P., Soker, S., Sparks, J.L. (2013) Scale-Dependent Properties of Native and Decellularized Liver Tissue. Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology 12(3)569-580. doi: 10.1007/s10237-012-0426-3.
  • Moran E., Raghunathan S., Evans D., Vavalle N., Smith T., Sparks J.L. (2012) Poroviscoelastic Model Simultaneously Predicts Reaction Force and Interstitial Fluid Pressure in Perfused Bovine Liver. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering 134(9):091002, doi: 10.1115/1.4007175.
  • Evans, D.W., Scott, A.T., Teasdall, R.D., Conner-Kerr, T., Sparks, J.L. (2012) Mechanical Properties of Lower Limb Dermis Following Static and Cyclic Compression. Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation 48:104-111.
  • Moran, E.C., Evans, D.W., Baptista, P., Soker, S., Sparks, J.L. (2012) Evaluation of Parenchymal Fluid Pressure in Native and Decellularized Liver Tissue. Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation 48:303-309.
  • Evans, D.W., Rajagopalan, P., DeVita, R., Vavalle, N., Sparks, J.L. (2012) Nano-Indentation Device for Investigating the Biomechanics of Compliant Materials. Journal of Experimental Mechanics; doi: 10.1007/s11340-012-9618-0.
  • Kemper, A.R., Santago, A.C., Stitzel, J.D., Sparks, J.L., Duma, S.M. (2012) Biomechanical Response of Human Spleen in Tensile Loading. Journal of Biomechanics 45(2):348-355.
  • Evans, D. W., Rajagopalan, P., DeVita, R., Sparks, J.L. (2011) Compression Instrument for Meso-Scale Tissue Experiments (CITE): Device Validation. Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation; 47:264-9.
  • Kemper, A., Santago, A., Stitzel, J.D., Sparks, J.L., Duma, S. (2010) Biomechanical Response of Human Liver in Tensile Loading. Annals of Advances in Automotive Medicine, 50:15-26.
  • Raghunathan, S., Evans, D.W., Sparks, J.L. (2010) Poroviscoelastic Modeling of Liver Biomechanical Response in Unconfined Compression. Annals of Biomedical Engineering 38(5):1789-1800.
  • Santago, A., Kemper, A., McNally, C., Sparks, J.L., Duma, S. (2009) The Effect of Temperature on the Mechanical Properties of Bovine Liver. Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation 45:376-381.
  • Santago, A., Kemper, A., McNally, C., Sparks, J.L., Duma, S. (2009) Freezing Affects the Mechanical Properties of Bovine Liver. Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation 45:24-29.
  • Sparks, J.L., Dupaix, R.B. (2008) Constitutive Modeling of Rate Dependent Stress-Strain Behavior of Human Liver in Blunt Impact Loading. Annals of Biomedical Engineering 36(11):1883-1892.
  • Sparks, J.L., Stammen, J., Herriott, R., Jones, K. (2008) Development of Fluid-Filled Catheter System for Dynamic Pressure Measurement in Soft Tissue Trauma.  International Journal of Crashworthiness 13(3):255-264.
  • Sparks, J.L., Bolte, J.H., Dupaix, R.B., Jones, K.H, Steinberg, S.M., Herriott, R., Stammen, J., Donnelly, B. (2007) Using Pressure to Predict Liver Injury Risk from Blunt Impact. Stapp Car Crash Journal 51:401-432.

Abstracts/Presentations at National Meetings

  • Moran E, Baptista P, Sparks JL, Soker S. Perfusion Driven Shear Stress Leads to Self-Organization of Bioengineered Livers. Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) Americas Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, December 2014.
  • Nishii K, Moran E, Reese G, Sparks JL. Quantifying the Effects of Decellularization on Liver Perfusion Dynamics. Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX, October 2014.
  • Fitzgerald M, Berberich J, Sparks JL. Stress-Relaxation Behavior of a Novel Alginate/Polyacrylamide Hydrogel Material with Tunable Properties. Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX, October 2014.
  • Sparks JL, Nishii K, Reese G, Evans DW, Moran EC, Baptista PM, Soker S. Biomechanical Characterization of Decellularized Scaffolds for Liver Bioengineering. World Congress of Biomechanics, Boston, MA, July 2014.        
  • Moran EC, Baptista PM, Sparks JL, Soker S. Bioengineered Liver Organoids as a Novel    Platform to Model Fluid Biomechanics, Regulation of Liver Development and        Regeneration. Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) Americas Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, November 2013.
  • Millard N, Dennis A, Maggio E, McMullen S, Weeks M, Sparks JL. Development of a Hydrostatic Pressure Chamber for Determining the Effect of Pressure on Liver Progenitor Cells. Biomaterials Day Conference, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, October 2013.
  • Moran,E, Baptista P, Sparks JL, Soker S. Tissue Growth and Cellular Organization are Influenced by Flow Rate and Pressure in Decellularized Liver Perfusion Bioreactors. Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA, September 2013.
  • Moran E, Baptista P, Nishii K, Wasnick D, Soker S, Sparks JL. Expression of Primary Cilia on Liver Stem and Progenitor Cells: Potential Role for Mechanosensing in Liver Development. ASME Summer Bioengineering Conference, Sunriver, OR, June 2013.
  • Sparks, J.L., Meyer, M., Hale, A., Johnson, J.E. Relevance of Biological Properties to the Performance of Procedural Tasks on Simulated Tissues. International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare, San Diego, CA, January 2012.
  • Moran, E., Vavalle, N., Raghunathan, S., Sparks, J.L. Poroviscoelastic Finite Element Model of Perfused Liver Tissue: Effect of Fluid Input Geometry on Interstitial Fluid Pressure. Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting, Hartford, CT, Oct. 2011.
  • Kemper, A.R., Santago, A., Stitzel, J., Sparks, J.L., Duma, S. Biomechanical Response of Spleen Parenchyma in Tensile Loading. Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting, Austin, TX, October 2010.
  • Santago, A., Kemper, A., Sparks, J.L., Duma, S. Comparing the Biomechanical Response of Porcine, Bovine, and Human Liver Tissue. Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting, Austin, TX, October 2010.
  • Amaechi, F., Sparks, J.L. Ballistic Gelatin as an Achievable Tissue Simulant Material. Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting, Austin, TX, October 2010.
  • Evans, D., Sparks, J.L. Compression Instrument for Mesoscale Tissue Experiments. Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting, Austin, TX, October 2010.
  • Raghunathan, S., Evans, D., Sparks, J.L. Poroviscoelastic Modeling of Perfused Bovine Liver Tissue. ASME Summer Bioengineering Conference, Naples, FL, June 2010.
  • Raghunathan, S., Evans, D., Amechi, F., Carter, J., Saunders, I., Stitzel, J.D., Westcott, C., Martin, R.S., Sparks, J.L. Abdominal Trauma Simulator with Realistic Organ Tethering for Improved Tactile Feedback. International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare, Phoenix, AZ, January 2010.
  • Santago, A.C., Kemper, A.R., McNally, C., Sparks, J.L., Duma, SM. Characterizing the Biomechanical Response of Human Liver in Tension. Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA, October 2009.
  • Sparks, J.L., Stitzel, J.D. Case-Centered Learning to Enhance Knowledge Integration in Biomedical Engineering. Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA, October 2009.
  • Raghunathan, S., Sparks, J.L. Modeling Liver Stress Relaxation Response: Comparison of Poroviscoelastic and Viscoelastic Models. Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA, October 2009.
  • Raghunathan, S., Sparks, J.L. Biphasic Poroviscoelastic Modeling of the Unconfined Compression of Porcine Liver Tissue. American Society of Mechanical Engineers Summer Bioengineering Conference, Tahoe, CA, June 2009.
  • Sparks, J.L., Carter, J., Saunders, I., LeBlanc, J., Stitzel, J.D., Westcott, C. Development of an Abdominal Trauma Simulator for Enhancing Surgical Team Communication Skills. International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare, Orlando, January 2009.
  • Sparks, J.L., Stammen, J., Herriott, R., Bolte, J. Organ-Level Biomechanical Analysis of Blunt Liver Injury: Dynamic Impact Experiments on Perfused Ex Vivo Porcine Livers. Society of Engineering Science 45th Annual Technical Meeting, Urbana-Champaign, IL,October 2008.

Invited Presentations

  • Center for Applied Molecular Medicine, University of Southern California Physical Sciences in Oncology Center, Los Angeles, CA. Biomechanical Modeling of Decellularized Liver Perfusion. May 2015.
  • Biomaterials Day Conference, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH. The Effects of Decellularization on Liver Mechanical Properties and Perfusion Dynamics. October 2013.
  • Miami University Alumni Weekend, Oxford, OH.  Materials in Biomedical Engineering (Biomaterials for Tissue Engineering) in “Classes without Quizzes.”  June 2013.
  • Cell and Molecular Structural Biology (CMSB) Annual Symposium, Miami University, Oxford, OH. Biomechanics of Decellularized Scaffolds for Liver Organ Engineering. May 2013.
  • International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare, San Diego, CA. The State of the Art and Challenges in Materials Engineering for Healthcare Simulation. Moderator and Invited Panelist. January 2012. 
  • Southeast Biomedical Engineering Career Conference (SEBECC), Clemson, SC. Biomedical Engineering Careers Panel. Moderator. October 2010.

Reviewer

  • Acta Biomaterialia
  • Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
  • Journal of Biomechanics
  • Annals of Biomedical Engineering
  • Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
  • Journal of Engineering in Medicine
  • International Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering

Patents

  • Pressure Ulcer Simulator and Related Methods. Inventors: Conner‐Kerr, T., Sanger, P., Sparks, J.L. U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/423,310, filed December 15, 2010.