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What Forces are at Work Here? Tom McKeag

Ingber and his colleagues have determined that living cells use tensegrity architecture to stabilize their shape and cytoskeleton, that cellular integrins function as mechanosensors on the cell surface, and that cytoskeletal tension is a fundamental regulator of many cellular responses to mechanical cues. (7) Ingber’s cellular tensegrity theory has informed the fundamental question of how life forms and organizes itself and led to the prediction that changes in extracellular matrix structure and mechanics play a fundamental role in tissue and organ development. The story of the cellular tensegrity paradigm, and the scientific search and debate that continues to animate it as a living process, is also an object lesson in interdisciplinary innovation. The bounding of traditional academic lines, the application of established principles to new disciplines, the use of all crafts, expertise, and insights, the inspiring of new and varied lines of inquiry, and the dogged investigation of all legitimate technical questions are found here, and worth studying closely. ⊗

We would appreciate your feedback on this article: Inactive conformation of integrin David S. Goodsell and RCSB PDB, CC-BY-4.0

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