Cells, Biological


Read here about tensegrity models of biological cellular behavior.

Donald Ingber has published extensively explaining the tensegirty explication of cellular mechanics.

See also integrins , Ingber , biotensegrity .

Online tutorial explaining the tensegrity model of biological cell operation

Tensesgrity in a cell is a basic overview, in Flash multimedia, of the concept of tensegrity as applied to cell structure. It was produced for the Children's Hospital, Boston, the primary pediatric teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.

Enter the interactive feature here: http://childrenshospital.org/cfapps/research/data_admin/Site3022/mainpageS3022P6.html

The presentation was created by Donald E. Ingber and Rick Groleau of Children's Hospital Boston, with creative staff from WGBH Interactive.

Animations illustrating tensegrity deformation of eukaryotic cells


The site also hosts the following animated images provided by Eddy Y. Xuan of Biomedical Communications, University of Toronto, Canada, that show how hierarchical tensegrity structures, such as a cell with a nucleus, behave when pulled, stretched and sheared.

tensegrity_pull.gif
Tenesgrity structure with nucleus, behavior when pulled


tensegrity_shear.gif
Tenesgrity structure with nucleus, behavior when sheared


tensegrity_stretch.gif
Tenesgrity structure with nucleus, behavior when stretched


Measuring the cell at work proves tensegrity as best model for cell mechanics


Jonas and Duschl measured the biological cell's mechanical power output under compression at two femtowatts. Their work confirms that the actin network greatly determines cell stiffness and represents the substrate that mediates force transduction throughout the cytoplasm of the cell. Since both an intact actin network and a microtubule network are required to enable the cell to produce work in this way, their compression/tension oppositional networks can only be understood within the framework of the tensegrity model. Their article reporting this, "Force Propagation and Force Generation in Cells" is in the July 6 2010 issue of Cytoskeleton (Hoboken). Jonas and Duschl did their work at the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering (IBMT), Potsdam-Golm, Germany.

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20607861

Links and References

Tensegrity in a Cell Interactive Feature, Children's Hospital Boston Website

Portal to Cellular Biology
A series on cells and cytoskeletal structure
Biotensegrity, Blood cells, Cells, Biological, Cytoskeleton, DNA, integrins, Mechanobiology
People: Ingber