The following references are a very small sample of papers that relate to biotensegrity. They have been grouped together for convenience but in many cases their content stretches across several categories. Many are available for free download while others require a subscription to the journal or single item payment. Inevitably things change and some of the links may no longer work, but an internet search for the title will find it.

CONTENTS: general tensegrity; biological tensegrity;  biological structure;  biological geometry;  structural hierarchies;  helix.


Baudriller H, Maurin B, Canadas P, Montcourrier P Parmeggiani A and Bettache N. 2006 Form-finding of complex tensegrity structures: application to cell cytoskeleton modelling. C.R. Mecanique 334:662-668. link

Burkhardt B 2008 A practical guide to tensegrity design. link

Carstens S and Kuhl D. 2008 Tensegrity – islands of compression in a sea of tension. link

Connelly R, Whiteley W. 1996 Second-order rigidity and prestress stability for tensegrity frameworks. Siam J Discrete Math 9;453-491. link

Connelly R and Back A. 1998 Mathematics and tensegrity. American Scientist 86:142-151. link

Connelly R. 1998 Tensegrity structures: why are they stable? link

Connelly B and Terrell B. Highly symmetric tensegrity structures. link

Edmonson A. A Fuller explanation. link

Estrada GG, Bungartz H, Hohrdieck C. 2005 On cylindrical tensegrity structures. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Cumputation of Shell and Spatial Structures.    link

Fuller BB. 1975 Synergetics, explorations in the geometry of thinking. Macmillan. link

Frumar JA, Zhou YY, Xie YM, Burry MC. 2009 Tensegrity structures with 3D compressed components: development, assembly and design. Journal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures 50:99-110. link

Hernandez Juan S, Mirats Tur JM. 2008 Tensegrity frameworks: static analysis review. Mechanism and Machine Theory 43:859-881. link

Jauregui VG. Tensegrity structures and their application to architecture.  link

Kenner H. 2003 Geodesic Math and how to use it. University of California Press.

Knight B, Zhang Y, Duffy J and Crane C. 2000 On the line geometry of a class of tensegrity structures. Proceedings of a symposium commemorating the legacy, works and life of Sir Robert Stawell Ball upon the 100th anniversary of a treatise on the theory of screws. University of Cambridge. link

Li Y, Feng XQ, Cao YP and Gao H. 2010 Constructing tensegrity structures from one-bar elementary cells. Proceedings of the Royal Society A 466:45-61. link

Masic M, Skelton RE and Gill PE. 2005 Optimization of tensegrity structures. International Journal of Solids and Structures 43:4687-4703. link

Micheletti A, Cadoni D. 2011 Design of single-layer floating-compression tensegrities. Colloque National en Calcul des Structures link

Motro R. 2003 Tensegrity: structural systems for the future. Kogan Page Science.

Motro R. 2009 Structural morphology of tensegrity systems. Asian Journal of Civil Engineering (Building and Housing)10;

Oppenheim IJ. Mechanics of tensegrity prisms. link

Pagitz M, Mirats Tur JM. 2009 Finite element based form-finding algorithm for tensegrity structures. International Journal of Solids and Structures 46:3235-3240.  link

Pena DM, Llorens I, Sastre R. 2010 Application of the tensegrity principles on tensile textile constructions. International Journal of Space Structures 25:57-67. link

Pugh A. 1976 An introduction to tensegrity. University of California Press.

Rieffel J, Valero-Cuevas F, Lipson H. 2009 Automated discovery and optimization of large irregular tensegrity structures. Computers and Structures 87:368-379. link

Rhode-Barbarigos L, Bel Hadj Ali N, Motro R and Smith IFC. 2009 Tensegrity modules for pedestrian bridges. Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures Symposium. Valencia, Spain.  link

Roth B and Whiteley W. 1981 Tensegrity frameworks. Transactions of the American Mathematical Society 265:419-?? link

Skelton RE, Adhikari R, Pinaud JP, Chan W and Helton JW. 2001 An introduction to the mechanics of tensegrity structures. Proceedings of the 40th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control 5:4254-4259.   link

Snelson K. link   and   link 2

Sultan C, Corless M, Skelton RE. 2002 Linear dynamics of tensegrity structures. Engineering Structures

Vondrejs V. Tensegrity structures in science, technique and art. link

Wroldwen AS. 2007 Modelling and control of tensegrity structures. PhD thesis. link

Zhang L, Maurin B and Motro R. 2006 Form-finding of nonregular tensegrity systems. Journal structural engineering 132;1435-40. link


Bertolucci LF. 2011 Pandiculation: Nature’s way of maintaining the functional integrity of the myofascial system? Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. 15:268-280.

Bloom K. 2002 Yeast weighs in on the elusive spindle matrix: new filaments in the nucleus. PNAS 99:4757-4759. link

Blumenfeld R. 2006 Isostaticity and controlled force transmission in the cytoskeleton: A model awaiting experimental evidence. Biophysical Journal 91:1970–83. link

Brangwynne CP, Mackintosh FC, Kumar S, Geisse NA, Talbot J, Mahadevan L, Parker KK, Ingber DE and Weitz DA. 2006 Microtubules can bear enhanced compressive loads in living cells because of lateral reinforcement. Journal of Cell Biology 173:733-741. (link)

Butcher JA, Lamb GW. 1984 The relationship between domes and foams: application of geodesic mathematics to micelles. Journal of the American Chemistry Society 106:1217-20. link

Canadas P, Maurin B, Baudriller H, Montcourrier P and Bettache N. 2008 Mechanical model of the cytoskeleton structuration during cell spreading. Journal of Biomechanics 41 (S1). link

Chen TJ, Wu CC, Tang MJ, Huang JS and Su FC. 2010 Complexity of the tensegrity structure for dynamic energy and force distribution of cytoskeleton during cell spreading. PLoS ONE 5:e14392. link

Coughlin MF and Stamenovic D. 2003 A prestressed cable network model of the adherent cell cytoskeleton. Biophysical Journal (84):1328-1336. link

Cretu SM. Tensegrity concept – from natural systems to robots. link

Cretu SM. Tensegrity as a structural framework in life sciences and bioengineering. link

Cretu SM, Brinzan GC. 2011 Tensegrity applied to modelling the motion of viruses. Acta Mech Sin 27:125-129. link

Davies E. 2004 Tensegrity – Architecture to biomechanics. Osteopath Oct/Nov:29-31. link

Davies E. 2004 Tensegrity 2: A new model of the structure function relationship. Osteopath Dec/Jan:41-3.

Du N, Liu XY, Narayanan J, Li L, Lim MLM, Li D. 2006 Design of superior spider silk: from nanostructure to mechanical properties. Biophysical Journal 91:4528-35. link

Dyson RJ, Green JEF, Byrne HM. 2009 Tensegrity as a main determinant of tissue morphogenesis: mathematical modelling of cell interactions with collagen and matrigel. link

Edwards SA, Wagner J, Grater F. 2012 Dynamic prestress in a globular protein. PLoS Computational Biology 8;e1002509. link

Flemons T.  Intension designs. link

Galli C, Guizzardi S, Passeri G, Macaluso GM and Scandroglio R. 2005 Life on the wire; on tensegrity and force balance in cells. Acta Bio Med 76:5-12.

Heidemann SR, Kaech S, Buxbaum RE and Matus A. 1999 Direct observations of the mechanical behaviors of the cytoskeleton in living fibroblasts. Journal of Cell Biology 145;(1):109-122.    (link)

Hu S, Chen J, Wang N. 2004 Cell spreading controls balance of prestress by microtubules and extracellular matrix. Frontiers in Bioscience

Huang S and Ingber DE. 1999 The structural and mechanical complexity of cell-growth control. Nature Cell Biology 1:E131-138. link

Ingber DE, Madri JA and Jamieson JD. 1981 Role of basal lamina in neoplastic disorganization of tissue architecture. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science78;(6):3901-3905. link

Ingber DE, Folkmann J. 1989 Mechanochemical switching between growth and differentiation during fibroblast growth factor-stimulated angiogenesis in vitro; role of extracellular matrix. Journal of Cell Biology 109:317-30. link

Ingber DE. 1991 Control of capillary growth and differentiation by extracellular matrix: use of a tensegrity (tensional integrity) mechanism for signal processing. Chest 99:34-40.    link

Ingber DE. 1993 Cellular tensegrity: defining new rules of biological design that govern the cytoskeleton. Journal of cell Science 104:613-627.

Ingber DE, Heidemann SR, Lamoureux P and Buxbaum RE. 2000 Opposing views on tensegrity as a structural framework for understanding cell mechanics. Journal of Applied Physiology 89:1663-1678.  link

Ingber DE. 1998 The architecture of life. Scientific American Jan. link

Ingber DE. 1999 How cells (might) sense microgravity. The FASEB Journal 13:S3-S15. link

Ingber DE. 2003 Mechanobiology and diseases of mechanotransduction. Annals of Medicine 35. [Review] link

Ingber DE. 2003 Tensegrity I. Cell structure and hierarchical systems biology. Journal of Cell Science 116;(7):1157-1173. (link)

Ingber DE. Tensegrity II. 2003 How structural networks influence cellular information processing networks. Journal of Cell Science 116:1397-1408. (link)

Ingber DE. 2004 The mechanochemical basis of cell and tissue regulation. MCB 1:53-68. link

Ingber DE. 2005 Mechanical control of tissue growth: function follows form. PNAS 102:11571-11572. link

Ingber DE. 2006 Cellular mechanotransduction: putting all the pieces together again. The FASEB J 20;(7)

Ingber DE. 2006 Mechanical control of tissue morphogenesis during embryological development. International Journal of Developmental Biology 50:255-266. link

Ingber DE and Levin M. 2007 What lies at the interface of regenerative medicine and developmental biology? Development 134:2541-2547. link

Ingber DE. 2008 Tensegrity-based mechanosensing from macro to micro. [Review] Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology

Izzard T, Aevarsson A, Allen MD, Westphal AH, Perham RN, De KoK A et al. 1999 Principles of quasi-equivalence an deuclidean geometry govern the assembly of cubic and dodecahedra cores of pyruvate hehydrogenase complexes. PNAS 96:1240-1245. link

Jamali Y, Azimi M, and Mofrad MRK. 2010 A sub-cellular viscoelastic model for cell population mechanics. PLoS ONE 8:e12097. link

Joshi HC, Chu D, Buxbaum RE, Heidemann SR. 1985 Tension and compression in the cytoskeleton of PC 12 neurites. Journal of Cell Biology 101:697-705.  link

Kamien RD. 2002 The geometry of soft materials. link

Kassolik K, Andrzejewski W and Trzesicka E. 2007 Role of the tensegrity rule in theoretical basis of massage therapy. Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation 20:15-20. link

Kumar  S, Maxwell IZ, Heisterkamp A, Polte TR, Lele T, Salanga M, Mazur E and Ingber DE, 2006 Viscoelastic retraction of single living stress fibers and Its impact on cell shape, cytoskeletal organization, and extracellular matrix mechanics. Journal of Cellular Physiology 207:767–74. link

LeDuc PR and Bellin RB. 2006 Nanoscale intracellular organization and functional architecture mediating cellular behavior. Annals of BioMedical Engineering 34;(1):102-13. [Review] link

Levin SM. 1982 Continuous tension, discontinuous compression: a model for biomechanical support of the body. The Bulletin of Structural Integration 8(1).link

Levin SM.1986 The icosahedron as the three-dimensional finite element in biomechanical support. link

Levin SM. 1995 The importance of soft tissues for structural support of the body. Spine: state of the art reviews. Dorman,T. ed. 9;(2):357-363 Hanley and Belphus, Philadelphia. link

Levin SM. 1997 Putting the shoulder to the wheel: a new biomechanical model for the shoulder girdle. Journal of Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation 33:412-417. link

Levin SM. 1998 The tensegrity system and pelvic pain syndrome. 3rd Interdisciplinary world congress on low back and pelvic pain. Journal of Mechanics in Medicine and Biology 2;(3&4):375-388. link

Levin SM. 2005 The scapula is a sesamoid bone. Journal of Biomechanics 38;(8):1733-1734.   link

Levin SM. 2005 In vivo observation of articular surface contact in knee joints. link

Levin SM. 2007 A suspensory system for the sacrum in pelvic mechanics: biotensegrity. In: Vleeming A, Mooney V, Stoeckart R. eds. Chapter 15 in Movement, stability and lumbopelvic pain. Churchill Livingstone. link

Li J, Dao M, Lim CT and Suresh S. 2005 Spectrin-level modeling of the cytoskeleton and optical tweezers stretching of the erythrocyte. Biophysical Journal 88;(5):3707-3719. link

Liedl T, Hogberg B, Tytell J, Ingber DE, Shih WM.2010 Self-assembly of three-dimensional prestressed tensegrity structues from DNA. Nature

Liu SC, Derik LH and Palek J 1987 Visualization of the erythrocyte membrane skeleton. Journal of Cell Biology 104:527-536. link

Lord EA. 2004 Helical structures: the geometry of protein helices and nanotubes. Structural Chemistry 13. link

Luo Y, Xu X, Lele T, Kumar S and Ingber DE. 2008 A multi-modular tensegrity model of an actin stress fiber. Journal of Biomechanics 41:2379-2387. link

Maina JN. 2006 Spectacularly robust! Tensegrity principle explains the mechanical strength of the avian lung. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology 155:1-10.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   link

Maina JN, Jimoh SA, Hosie H. 2010 Implicit mechanistic role of the collagen, smooth muscle, and elastic tissue components in strengthening the air and blood capillaries of the avian lung. Journal of Anatomy 217:597-608. link

Moore KA, Polte T, Huang S, Shi B, Alsberg E, Sunday ME, Ingber DE. 2005 Control of basement membrane remodeling and epithelial branching morphogenesis in embryonic lung by Rho and cytoskeletal tension. Developmental Dynamics 232:268-81. link

Myers KA, Rattner JB, Shrive NG and Hart DA. 2007 Hydrostatic pressure sensation in cells: integration into the tensegrity model. Biochem Cell Biol 85(5)L543-51. link

Palestini P, Botto L, Rivolta I, Miserocchi G. 2011 Remodelling of membrane rafts expression in lung cells as an early sign of mechnaotransduction-signalling in pulmonary edema. Journal of Lipids link

Parker KK and Ingber DE. 2007 Extracellular matrix, mechanotransduction and structural hierarchies in heart tissue engineering. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2114:1-13.   link

Parsons J. 2007 Tensegrity – a global model. Osteopathy Today May:12-3.

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Pirentis AP and Lazopoulos KA. 2010 On the orientation of plane tensegrity cytoskeletons under biaxial substrate stretching. Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology 1:12-25. link

Rapoport DL. 2011 On the fusion of physics and klein bottle logic in biology, embryogenesis and evolution. NeuroQuantology 9:842-861. link

Rieffel JA, Valero-Cuevas FJ and Lipson H. 2010 Morphological communication: exploiting coupled dynamics in a complex mechanical structure to achieve locomotion. Journal of the Royal Society Interface

Sabin JE, Lloyd-Jones P. Nonlinear systems biology and design: surface design. link

Scarr G. 2008 A model of the cranial vault as a tensegrity structure, and its significance to normal and abnormal cranial development. International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine 11;(3):80-89. link

Scarr G. 2010 Simple geometry in complex organisms. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 14:424-444. link

Scarr G. 2011 Helical tensegrity as a structural mechanism in human anatomy. International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine 14:24-32. link

Scarr G. in press (2012) A consideration of the elbow as a tensegrity structure. International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine    link

Soto AM, Sonnenschein C, Saetzler K and Byrne H. 2009 Tensegrity as a main determinant of tissue morphogenesis. link

Stamenovic D, Mijailovich SM, Tolic-Norrelykke IM and Wang N. 2001 Micromechanics of the cytoskeleton: experimental tests of the cellular tensegrity hypothesis. Bioengineering Conference ASME 50:809-810.

Stamenovic D and Coughlin MF. 2003 A prestressed cable network model of the adherent cell cytoskeleton. Biophysical Journal

Stamenovic D 2006 Models of cytoskeletal mechanics based on tensegrity. Chap 6 in ? link

Stamenovic D and Ingber DE. 2009 Tensegrity-guided self assembly: from molecules to living cells.Soft Matter 5;1137–45. link

Turvey MT. 2007 action and perception at the level of synergies. Human Movement Science 26:657-697. link

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Valero-Cuevas FJ, Yi GW, Bron D, NcNamara RV, Paul C, Lipson H. 2009 The tendon network of the fingers performs anatomical computation at a macroscopic scale.  IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering 54;1161. link

Valero – cuevas FJ, 2009 An integrative approach to the biomechanical function and neuromuscular control of the fingers. Journal of Biomechanics 38;673-684. link

Volokh KY. 2011 On tensegrity in cell mechanics. Molecular and Cellular Biomechanics 8:195-214. link

Wang N, Tytell JD and IngberDE. 2009 Mechanotransduction at a distance: mechanically coupling the extracellular matrix with the nucleus. Research in cellular mechanotransduction  Nature Reviews Molecular cell Biology10;75. link

Waterman-Storer CM, Salmon WC and Salmon ED. 2000 Feedback interactions between cell-cell adherens junctions and cytoskeletal dynamics I newt lung epithelial cells. Molecular biology of the cell 11:2471-83.

Watson RR, Fu Z, West JB. 2007 Morphometry of the extremely thin pulmonary blood-gas barrier in the chicken lung. Am J Physiol – Lung Cell Molecular Physics 292:L769-77.    link

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Weinbaum S, Zhang X, Han Y, Vink H, and Cowin SC. 2003 Mechanotransduction and flow across the endothelial glycocalyx. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 100(13):7988-7995.   link

Yamada T, Richiert D, Tumminia SJ, Russell P. 2000 The tensegrity model applied to the lens: a hypothesis for the presence of the fiber cell ball and socketws. Medical Hypotheses 55:36-39. link

Zanotti G, Guerra C. 2003 Is tensegrity a unifying concept of protein folds? FEBS Letters 534:7-10. link

Zhang C, Su M, He Y, Zhao X, Fang P, Ribbe AE, Jiang W and Mao C. 2008 Conformational flexibility facilitates self-assembly of complex DNA nanostructures. PNAS 105:10665-9.    link

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Borkhvardt VG. 2000 The growth and form development of the limb buds in vertebrate animals. Ontogenez 31:192-200. (This is in Russian but the abstract looks like it could be useful to tensegrity research – please let me know if you find a translation.)

Borkhvardt VG. 2001 Invagination and evagination: A hydromechanical model. Russian Journal of Developmental Biology 33(1):13-21. (In  English)

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