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Only tension and compression elements in tensegrity systems.

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Author: Stephen M. Levin, MD


Principles of a fixed fulcrum or loss of joint play

is underpinned by & Science of Biotensegrity

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Tensegrity icosahedrons are used to model biologic organisms from viruses to vertebrates, their cells, systems and subsystems.


There are only tension and compression elements in tensegrity systems. There are no shears, bending moments or levers, just simple tension and compression, in a self organizing, hierarchical, load distributing, low energy consuming structure.

You might also want to investigate Donald Ingber's on-going research here. He is the other guy working on this stuff, but primarily at the cellular level..

After you have read some of the papers in the papers section, you might want to read more about Tensegrity. For an excellent review by an architect see Val Jauregui's architectual thesis found here http://www.alumnos.unican.es/uc1279/Tensegrity_Structures.htm .



For furthur understanding of tensegrity in biologic structures from the viewpoint of a geometer/artist/inventor see Tom Flemons' The Geometry of Anatomy - the Bones of Tensegrity  published on his website. Tom makes models of anatomical structures based on biotensegrity principles. Most of the models I show in my DVD are made by Tom and a third of the DVD is a discussion I have with him about Biotensegrity using his models to illustrate the concept.


For the scientist, be wary of the writings of Carlos Castaneda who has co-opted the term 'tensegrity' and redefined it to a version of some movements by Native American shamans who lived in Mexico in times prior to the Spanish conquest. This is not how the word was conceived by Fuller, who coined the term or Snelson, who first applied the mechanical principles to modern mechanical structures as an art form. I have moved to the term 'biotensegrity' to try and clearly distinguish what is science and what is 'new wave mysticism' in regards to biologic structures.


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 Dennis Bartram

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Keywords: Spine, models, biomechanics, tensegrity, biotensegrity.

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