The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

College of Engineering

Center for Materials Processing

Current CMP-Supported Students

Kokouvi Akato

Ryan Hammonds

Ryan Hammonds is a PhD candidate in the Polymer Engineering program. Ryan has served as a graduate teaching assistant for MSE 210 "Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory" and MSE 304 "Principles of Materials Laboratory."

After receiving a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Tennessee, his research has focused in the area of biomaterials. He has investigated bacterial cellulose and calcium deficient hydroxyapatite composites for osteoinductive bone substitution. This cellulose produced by the bacteria has superior properties over other cellulose sources. The hydroxyapatite is a ceramic deposited in its calcium deficient form, mimicking the mineral found in native bone.
Recent work has included the investigation of a hydroxyapatite powder with biomimetic morphology in calcium differences and nanoscale crystals. This work was recently presented at the NANOSMAT conference in Tampa, FL.

Through collaboration with fellow graduate student, Pelagie Favi, and Dr. Madhu Dhar at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinarian Medicine, bacterial cellulose scaffolds have shown excellent use as a scaffold for mesenchymal stem cells.

Ryan has assisted fellow student Russell Hallman in investigating the morphological effects of polyethylene films on permeation. They have examined these properties using wide-angle x-ray scattering, differential scanning calorimetry, and a novel technique, variable-temperature density gradient column.


  • RL Hammonds, MS Harrison, T Cravanas, W Gazzola, CP Stephens, and R.S. Benson. "Biomimetic Hydroxyapatite Powder from a Bacterial Cellulose Scaffold." (in press)
  • RS Benson, HM O'Neill, BR Evans, S Hutchens, CP Stephens, and RL Hammonds "Development of Bacterial Cellulose Nanocomposites." MRS Proceedings.
  • CP Stephens, RL Hammonds, RL Hallman, A Wills, and RS Benson. "Moisture Permeation through Polyethylene: I. Phase density variation characterized by variable temperature-differential gradient column (VT-DGC)." (in press)
  • PM Favi, RS Benson, NR Neilsen, Ryan L Hammonds, CC Bates, CP Stephens, and MS Dhar "Cell proliferation, viability, and in vitro differentiation of equine mesenchymal stem cells seeded on bacterial cellulose hydrogel scaffolds." (in press).


  • RL Hammonds, MS Harrison, TC Cravanas, W Gazzola, CP Stephens, RS Benson. "Generation of a Nanoscale Biomimetic Hydroxyapatite as a Bone Substitute from Bacterial Cellulose" Nanosmat USA Conference. Tampa, FL. March 2012.
  • R Hammonds, S Hutchens, H O'Neill, B Evans, R Benson. "Development of bacterial cellulose as a matrix for mammalian cell growth" American Chemical Society Conference. San Francisco, CA. March 2010.

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