The Stephen M Levin Biotensegrity Archive

Applied Biotensegrity
From movement education to medicine, from the sub-cellular to the celestial, biotensegrity is informing researchers, physicians, therapists, inventors and others.

Extensions of the biotensegrity concept may be found in the fields of mechanobiology, mechanotransduction, mechanoregulation and mechanopathology. The emerging fields of
biomimicry, systems biology, complex systems and soft matter biology are also akin to biotensegrity.

The links below introduce you to the growing biotensegrity-aware community:

Research, Medicine and Invention

Dr. Timothy F. H. Allen, emeritus professor of Botany and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studies complexity and systems biology. His book, Toward a Unified Ecology is now in its second edition, and includes a section on biotensegrity contributed by Dr. Levin. Allen's Summary of the Principles of Heirarchy Theory is highly recommended. Here's Allen's five minute lecture on Water, the Essence of Life, which is guaranteed to wake up your critical thinking skills! A "3 Questions" interview addresses reductionism and the role and influence of the observer in science and complex systems. Dr. Allen's evening at Madison SciencePub is both fascinating and entertaining!

C Castro Arenas, I Ghersi and M T Miralles, shared their findings from studying frequency responses of tensegrity models in the paper, "Biomechanics and Biotensegrity: Study Method and Frequency Response of the Simplex and 3-bar-SVD Tensegrity Configurations" in the Journal of Physics: Conference Series 705 (2016) 012018, in which they state that "..the field of biotensegrity…includes biomechanics as a natural field of application."

Howard Dananberg, MD, of the Vasyli Medical ThinkTank, is a podiatrist who has been recognized by the Lemelson Center at MIT as an inventor and innovator, and has been applying biotensegrity in his work for well over a decade and participated in BIG VII and the 1st Biotensegrity Summit. Here Dr. Dananberg discusses Chronic Pain.

Here, Markus Erhard, developer of Flexotape and a Myofascial Taping system discusses the importances of how we regard the myofascial system: "can you see it as a tensegrity structure?"

Geometer Tom Flemons worked closely with Dr. Levin over decades in developing models that demonstrate the possibilities for macro-scale biotensegrity structure in the human body. His website is
Intension Designs. A Conversation between Tom Flemons and Stephen Levin is available for viewing on YouTube. The Archive is forever grateful to Mr. Flemons for granting the Archive permission to be a co-repository for videos of his models. Tom's YouTube channel is here. "Tom Flemons raised his sail, tightened the sheet, and headed for the sunset November 4th, 2018 to explore what he once called “the really big tensegrity.” Since then, Dorothea Blostein has been enhancing and extending Tom's website to become the Tom Flemons Archive. Thank you, Dorothea!

Dr. Niall Galloway, Associate Professor of Urology at Emory University School of Medicine, Chief of Female Urology and Director of Emory Continence Center, explains how he applies biotensegrity to his work in these video clips: Pelvic Floor biotensegrity; Growth and Form

Richard (Dick) and Natalie K Gordon are retired scientists who blog about issues such as,"Biotensegrity Everywhere?" —on their Embryogenesis Explained blog/website. Their recent book has the same name.

Surgeon Jean-Claude Guimberteau is the first person to film living human tissue through an endoscope, and his stunning work can be seen in his DVDs, such as Strolling Under the Skin, and in his recent book from Handspring Publishing, Architecture of Human Living Fascia, to which Dr. Levin contributed. Here's an interview with Dr. Guimberteau from the Liberated Body Podcast.

Dr. Donald Ingber of
Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, believes that "molecules, cells, tissues, organs, and our entire bodies use “tensegrity” architecture to mechanically stabilize their shape, and to seamlessly integrate structure and function at all size scales," as he wrote in Tensegrity and Mechanotransduction.

Designing a Biotensegrity Exoskeleton is a project of The Interactive Architecture Lab at Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London

Orthodontist Dr. Gavin James applies biotensegrity concepts in his approach to his work, and often blogs and writes articles from this perspective.

Acupuncturist Alon Markus and DO Michael Kuchera included biotensegrity in their book, "
Foundations for Integrative Musculoskeletal Medicine: an East-West Approach." The section entitled, "A Systems Science Model for Biomechanical Construction" was contributed by Dr. Levin.

Graham Scarr, DO and Helen Harrison have had their article, "Examining the temporo-mandibular joint from a biotensegrity perspective" published by the Journal of Applied Biomedicine, October, 2016.

Dr. Edward G. Stiles, DO, FAOO, Professor of Osteopathic Principles and Practice at the University of Pikeville, and principal of Stylized Osteopathic Seminars, has been educating his students about biotensegrity and how it applies to their work for decades. Dr. Stiles is credited with codifying many of AT Still's techniques and making them part of a teachable system, as he discusses in his Indirect Techniques presentation. He attended BIG VII along with his associates Micha Sale, PT, MEd and Margo Hayes, MS, PT.

Dr. Vytas Sunspiral is a
Senior Robotics Researcher in the Intelligent Robotics Group within the Intelligent Systems Division at NASA Ames Research Center. Inspired by biotensegrity, his team has developed the NASA Tensegrity Robotics Toolkit (NTRT) as an open source project. Dr. Sunspiral's personal website Magical Robot / Being Human, has features on tensegrity, biotensegrity, robotics and more.

Randel L Swanson II, DO, PhD, Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and UPenn's Perelman School of Medicine, contributed the article, "Biotensegrity: A Unifying Theory of Biological Architecture With Applications to Osteopathic Practice, Education, and Research—A Review and Analysis" to the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (January 2013, Vol. 113, 34-52).

Irene Tadeo, Ana P. Berbegall, Luis M. Escudero, Tomás Álvaro and Rosa Noguera contributed their research paper "Biotensegrity of the extracellular matrix: physiology, dynamic mechanical balance, and implications in oncology and mechanotherapy" to the March 4, 2014 edition of the journal Frontiers in Oncology, in which they state, "Despite present advances, only the tip of the iceberg has so far been uncovered regarding the role of ECM compounds in influencing biotensegrity in pathological processes." We look forward to future research!

Dr. Michael T. Turvey, of the University of Connecticut's Center for the Ecological Study of Perception and Action, explains how tensegrity / biotensegrity relates to Haptic Perception in this presentation. Turvey's The Medium of Haptic Perception: a tensegrity hypothesis, cowritten with Sergio Fonseca was featured in a special issue of the Journal of Motor Behavior, which included a commentary by Dr. Levin, Our Internal Universe.

Movement and Manual Therapy

Joanne Avison has included a discussion of biotensegrity as related to Yoga, Fascia, Anatomy and Movement, in her book from Handspring Publishing. Brooke Thomas' interview with Joanne Avison on the Liberated Body Podcast is here.

Dennis Bartram is an
Amatsu therapist and ninjitsu martial arts teacher who has participated in several of the European BIG meetings. His students are fully informed about biotensegrity. Bartram presents a video on biotensegrity here, complete with stunning examples of how biotensegrity awareness can inform human movement.

Shari Berkowitz is a Pilates teacher-of-teachers who grounds her teaching and her practice in her understanding of biotensegrity, as she discusses in this article. The Biotensegrity Archive is grateful to Shari for her previous service on our board of directors.

Carol Boggs is a thought leader in the Alexander Technique community and a long-time member of DC BIG. Here's her page on biotensegrity.

Stephen Braybrook, MSc is a biomechanist and "self-confessed human movement geek." His recent book,
"The Evolution of Biomechanics: Bringing movement theory back to life," discusses the importance of taking a biotensegral perspective in revamping biomechanics.

Pianist Doug Johnson is an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music, as well as a composer, performer and performance educator. He applies biotensegrity to the theory of Bodymapping, and teaches biotensegrity in his seminars. Here he is working with a student in Brazil.

Tom Myers presented Levin's work in biotensegrity in his landmark book Anatomy Trains, and continues to incorporate biotensegrity into his teachings.

A short presentation on biotensegrity given by Dr. Levin for the Matrix Repatterning community can be seen here on YouTube. Dr George Roth has consulted with Dr. Levin over the decades and has applied biotensegrity to develop his Matrix Repatterning assessment and treatment method, and explains the science behind his approach here.

Anatomist John Sharkey includes a section on how biotensegrity necessitates a new perspective on understanding human anatomy in his updated revision of
The Concise Book of Muscles

Brooke Thomas' Liberated Body Podcast is a valuable resource for movement and manual therapy practitioners, teachers and athletes. Brooke joined us for BIG VII and the 1st Biotensegrity Summit in 2015 and reviews the events, as well as the 4th International Fascia Research Congress, here.

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