The Stephen M Levin Biotensegrity Archive

The Biotensegrity Archive…
is dedicated to supporting the growing global biotensegrity-minded community looking to learn more about the science. Scroll down for links.

About Biotensegrity

Consistent with an understanding of biologic life as an evolutionary and developmental continuum of dynamic functional structure, biotensegrity posits tensegrity architecture as a fundamental of biology: biotensegrity. It applies "from viruses to vertebrates" (Levin, 1980).

Specifically, the endoskeletal tensegrity icosahedron is regarded as the archetypal structure, emerging in response to the forces organisms must manage optimally in order to be successful, iterating throughout a nested continuum of heterarchical structural levels. Biotensegrity is a system science, and therefore includes an understanding of complexity, including emergent properties, synergies, soft matter physics, non-linearities, chaos, fractals, small world networks, self-organization, strange attractors and complex adaptive systems.

Biotensegrity is the name Stephen M. Levin, MD, has given to his concept of biologic structure. Because it is a branch of science, Dr. Levin has clarified that the term should appear with lower case letters (just as "biology" and "chemistry" do), and be spelled and written, "biotensegrity." Biotensegrity it is not a proper noun, and should not appear as a trade name; it is always written without capital letters and without hyphens.

What are the implications?
Tensegrity structures have unique qualities and manifest force management responses which are unlike those found in conventional continuous compression structures. If biologic structures are more akin to tensegrities, scientific conclusions and practices (medical, biomechanical, environmental, etc) founded on the assumption that biologic life follows the structural mechanics of linear machine models and continuous compression structures would bear re-examination in the light of the new paradigm.

Want to learn more?
The best place to start learning about biotensegrity is Dr. Levin's website,; we suggest you read all the papers and commentaries and check out the DVD as well.

Graham Scarr and Danièle-Claude Martin have worked closely with Dr. Levin over a period of several years, and have written excellent and reliable books on biotensegrity. Consider these books essential if you are a serious student of biotensegrity.

Graham Scarr's
Biotensegrity: The Structural Basis of Life, from Handspring Publishing is available through Amazon. Graham's website, Tensegrity in Biology is also very highly recommended. The links on the home page are extensive and well-curated, and the References page lists over one hundred scientific publications, representing a handful of the thousands of references to tensegrity in biology / biotensegrity now available in the literature.

From Danièle-Claude Martin:
Living Biotensegrity: Interplay of Tension and Compression in the Body from Kiener Press, is also available through Amazon.

A short presentation on biotensegrity from Dr. Levin to the Matrix Repatterning community can be seen here on YouTube.

Brooke Thomas'
interview with Dr. Levin for her Liberated Body podcast is here.

Biotensegrity is part of systems science, complexity science and systems biology. Although not directly about biotensegrity, we highly recommend reviewing the free online videos that
Systems Solutions Lab provides through its Complexity Academy.

I'd like to donate now!