The Structural Basis of Life

This second edition of the book entitled ‘Biotensegrity: the structural basis of life‘ is now available to purchase from Handspring and contains much information on the origins of tensegrity and the biotensegrity concept – the underlying principles and their implications for functional anatomy and biomechanics.

Biotensegrity is a structural design principle that describes a relationship between every part of an organism and the mechanical system that integrates them into a complete functional unit. It is also a conceptual model that is causing a paradigm shift in biomechanical thinking and changing the way that we think about the complexities of functional anatomy.

The book answers the question ‘What is biotensegrity?’ and reasons that all natural forms are the result of interactions between natural physical forces and the fundamental laws that regulate them. It shows that an appreciation of some basic rules of physics leads to a better understanding of living organisms as functionally integrated and heterarchical units, and thus forms part of the basic science that underpins clinical reasoning.

It fits with the ethos that unites a wide diversity of different practitioners and therapeutic methods because it intrinsically recognizes the wholeness of the human body. In other words, that an appreciation of the interconnectedness between every part of the organism is essential to a proper understanding of its functions, health and disease.

Biotensegrity is also gaining momentum within the scientific community who examine the dynamic behaviour of cells and their interactions with the surrounding extracellular matrix and fascia, thus increasing our understanding of cancer and other illnesses. It underpins new ideas about joint mechanics and the global connectivity between these tissues and the nervous system, all of which operate synergistically in controlling movement and are far more than collections of anatomical ‘bits’.

Biotensegrity has influenced the development of robots destined for the exploration of space and new classes of joint and prostheses with potential medical applications. It inherently recognizes that complex living structures are the result of interactions between some basic principles of self-organization, and that Nature’s ‘strategy for design’ is already contained within the dynamic architecture of the system. Where each ‘part’ is examined in relation to the whole and a more complete understanding can be obtained.