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Read here about the cytoskeleton, in terms of its tensegrity structure.


The cytoskeleton is the internal structure of the cell. It is modeled today using tensegrity concepts. Although not yet the model for cell structure, it is rapidly gaining ground and overtaking all other models.

It has been demonstrated that tubulin, one of the components of the cytoskeleton, is stiff, and actin, another component is a tensioner. Ingber [1] uses the tensegrity arrays as Fuller describes Synergetics, section 784, (although Ingber is a bit fuzzy on details). [2]

Separating tension and compression elements is very helpful for bioinformatic parsing of the organelle. "The membrane, intermediate, and actin filaments of a living cell's framework are crucial in achieving structural integrity and morphing shape capabilities as well as allowing for its sensing, control, and information transmitting functions" [3]

Integrin is an important component of the cytoskeleton's tensegrity structure.


[1] Ingber, D. E. (1993). Cellular tensegrity: Defining new rules of biological design that govern the cytoskeleton. Journal of Cell Science, 104 ( Pt 3), 613-27.
[2] Levin, writing to Geodesic listserv, 25 Feb 2010
[3] Cornel Sultan, upon being awarded NSF CAREER prize.

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