The term tensegrity was first coined by Buckminster Fuller to describe a structure in which continuous tension in its members forms the basis for structural integrity. Fuller most famously demonstrated the concept of tensegrity in architecture through the design of geodesic domes while his student, artist Kenneth Snelson, applied the concept of tensegrity to create sculptures that appear to defy gravity (Figure 1). Snelson’s tensegrity sculptures have minimal components and achieve their stability through dynamic distribution of tensile and compressive forces amongst their members to create internal balance . It was upon viewing Snelson’s sculptures that Donald Ingber became inspired by their structural efficiency and dynamic force balance to adopt tensegrity as a paradigm upon which to analyze cell structure and mechanics. It has been 30 years since the premier appearance of the cellular tensegrity model and although the model is still much under debate, empirical evidence suggests that the model may explain a wide variety of phenomena ranging from tumor growth to cell motility [1–4].
- Bioengineering Division
Exploring Cellular Tensegrity: Physical Modeling and Computational Simulation
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Zheng, CH, Doll, J, Gu, E, Hager-Barnard, E, Huang, Z, Kia, A, Ortiz, M, Petzold, B, Usui, T, Kwon, R, Jacobs, C, & Kuhl, E. "Exploring Cellular Tensegrity: Physical Modeling and Computational Simulation." Proceedings of the ASME 2008 Summer Bioengineering Conference. ASME 2008 Summer Bioengineering Conference, Parts A and B. Marco Island, Florida, USA. June 25–29, 2008. pp. 283-284. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/SBC2008-192407
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