Show Summary Details
Page of

Tensegrity: the new biomechanics 

Tensegrity: the new biomechanics
Tensegrity: the new biomechanics

Stephen M. Levin

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 17 May 2022

Biologic structures are chaotic, non-linear, complex, and unpredictable by their very nature. The new sciences of chaos and complexity are needed to explain and understand biologic structural mechanics. Tensegrity structures have unique characteristics that parallel the structural requirements of biology. Geodesic domes are tensegrity structures and actin, the contractile element of muscle, and leukocytes are arranged as geodesic domes. Viruses are icosahedra, which are the lowest-frequency geodesic dome. Unlike Hookian structures, the mechanics of geodesic domes are non-linear. As the structure is compressed, it uniformly shrinks, increasing its internal pressure non-linearly. The heart, alveoli, bladder, arteries, and all other hollow vesicles within the body do the same. Bone, discs, muscles, and ligaments, individually and as composites, behave non-linearly. In terms of mechanics and physiology, biologic tissues behave the same way as tensegrity structures.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.