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The concept of tensegrity as a structural design principle has been around since the middle of the twentieth century and is currently seeing a huge increase in interest. From early forays into a new form of sculpture it is now incorporated into architecture and the engineering of deployable structures in space, and is also attracting the attention of biologists, clinicians and others interested in functional anatomy and movement. Tensegrity models emulate biology in ways that were inconceivable in the past, and the principles underlying their construction provide a more thorough assessment of biological mechanics at every size scale. This book is a response to the frequently asked question, “what is (bio)tensegrity”, and will inspire the reader to take a deeper look at biological structure and find their own ways of applying it. It is a perspective that recognises that all natural forms are the result of interactions between natural physical forces and the fundamental laws that regulate them, and that an appreciation of these simple precepts leads to a better understanding of the human body as a functionally integrated and hierarchical unit. ‘Biotensegrity – the structural basis of life’ presents a detailed and overall picture of tensegrity/biotensegrity and brings everything together for the first time, from its discovery and basic geometry to its significance to functional anatomy and biomechanical theory, and is a much needed reference; it is part of the basic science that underpins clinical reasoning.
Graham Scarr is a chartered biologist and osteopath with a particular interest in structural mechanics. Fascinated by the numerous examples of geometric patterns and shapes in nature, he has been researching their significance over many years.
As a graduate in microbiology, and after spending several years developing his skills in a bacteriological research lab, he is now part of a specific interest group looking at the significance of the biotensegrity concept to biomechanics and clinical practice, and at the forefront of current thinking about this subject.
Working closely with Stephen Levin, an orthopaedic surgeon who first recognized the importance of biotensegrity to living organisms, he has developed new models that progress our understanding of the structure-function relationship in biology.
Graham Scarr is currently a Fellow of the Linnean Society and Member of the Society of Biology; he has published several papers on this subject in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
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