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News Reports on our Work


A Magnetic Machine Plucks Pathogens from Blood
June 22, 2009 --A new treatment could save some of the hundreds of thousands of Americans dying sepsis-related deaths every year. By Allison Bond. Popular Science.

Exploiting Cortistatins' Essence
June 8, 2009 -Simple analogs of a complex natural product may protect against loss of vision. Simple analogs of a complex natural product may protect against loss of vision. By Carmen Drahl. The weekly news of Chemical and Engineering

Yanking Pathogens Out of Blood with Magnets
July, 2009 -Germ-grabbing magnetic beads that can be pulled from the blood. By Kate Wilcox. Scientific American

L'architecture, muse de la biologie
March 13, 2009 -Le Monde

Capillary formation’s mechanical determinants
March 8, 2009 - One growth factor can have many effects. Harvard Science

Remembering Judah Folkman, Visionary Scientist and Mentor
January 9, 2009 - “We are Judah’s legacy. He was the central hub from which arms reach around the globe,” said Donald Ingber, speaking about Judah Folkman. FOCUS

Making Gene Expression Useful to the Clinician.
January 25, 2009 - from


Stretching the Imagination
Dec. 11, 2008 -- "What I saw before my eyes was something that was incredibly physical, mechanical in nature." -Donald Ingber. News Feature NATURE Vol456.

Normalizing tumor vessels to improve cancer therapy
Aug 20, 2008 -- "These abnormal features of tumor vessels impair delivery of circulating chemotherapeutic drugs to the actual tumor site," says Kaustabh Ghosh, PhD, first author on the paper, and a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Donald Ingber, MD, PhD, the paper's senior author and interim co-director of the Vascular Biology Program. Science News.

Stem Cells May Take Random Walk to Stable State
July 11, 2008 - Gene Expression Levels Vary Toward Mean, Affect Fate Decisions. FOCUS.

Nanotech Revives a Cancer Drug
July 11, 2008 - A new formulation could bring a promising drug back to the clinic. TechnologyReview. By Katherine Bourzac.

New Oral Angiogenesis Inhibitor Offers Potential Nontoxic Therapy For A Wide Range Of Cancers
June 30, 2008 - The first oral, broad-spectrum angiogenesis inhibitor, specially formulated through nanotechnology, shows promising anticancer results in mice, report researchers from Children’s Hospital Boston. ScienceDaily.

Accidental fungus leads to promising cancer drug
June 29, 2008 - A drug developed using nanotechnology and a fungus that contaminated a lab experiment may be broadly effective against a range of cancers. Reuters. By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor.

Microfiltering Sepsis
May 23, 2008 - A microfluidic device may effectively filter out pathogens that trigger septic shock. Technology Review.

Many Paths, Few Destinations: How Stem Cells Decide What They'll Become?
May 24, 2008 - When exposed to a growth factor, a blood stem cell, represented by a blue marble, falls into a new "attractor state," depicted as a valley in a landscape, to become a red blood cell. Different influences, such as differentiation factors, can lead stem cells to the same attractor state, but each cell can take very different paths though the landscape to get there (just as a marble might take a different path each time it rolls down a hill). ScienceDaily.

Magnetic Switch Flips On Immune Cell.
January 25, 2008 - Technology Advances Cellular Device for Detecting Hazardous Agents. FOCUS.

Controlling Cell Behavior with Magnets
January 18, 2008 - Nanoparticles allow researchers to initiate biochemical events at will. Technology Review. Published by MIT.

Magnete statt Medikamente
January 10, 2008 - SPIEGEL online. by Von Nicole Simon.

For Remote-Control Cells, Just Add Magnets
January 8, 2008 - Magnetic particles turn cell signals on and off. Scientific American. By JR Minkel

Researchers Use Magnetic Fields, Rather Than Drugs, To Control Cellular Signaling
January 9, 2008 - Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston have developed a new "nanobiotechnology" that enables magnetic control of events at the cellular level. They describe the technology, which could lead to finely-tuned but noninvasive treatments for disease, in the January issue of Nature Nanotechnology (published online January 3).Science Daily


2008 Nanobio Symposium Preview
December 11, 2007 - Donald Ingber spoke at the 2008 Nanobio Symposium at Johns Hopkins University. "Cell Studies Inspired by Art and Engineering".

October 31, 2007 - An interview with Dr. Ingber discussing the newly emerging fields of Nanobiotechnology and Biologically Inspired Engineering on Charlotte Talks, National Public Radio (Charlotte, NC). WFAE 90.7fm

The Power Of Serendipity
Oct. 7, 2007
- Don Ingber Interview on 'Serendipity and Discovery' on CBS Sunday Morning, correspondent Martha Teichner.

NIH funds Ingber Lab as part of a Harvard-Wide Consortium to Engineer Whole Organs
Sep. 6, 2007
- NIH funds local teams for daring research - Organ shortage, new drugs at issue. By Liz Kowalczyk The Boston Globe

The Ideas Engine Needs a Tuneup
June 1, 2007
- "DARPA seems to be shifting to the NIH model -- more near-term, more risk-averse," said Don Ingber, a professor of pathology at Harvard. By David Ignatius The Washington Post

A mechanical view of biology gains ground.
May 10, 2007
- “The same chemical signal or gene activity produces entirely different biological effects in a different mechanical environment,” says Donald Ingber, a vascular biology professor at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School and a pioneer in mechanobiology. By Eric Smalley at


Cell Tower - National Public Radio's interview on Donald Ingber and his work on tensegrity in cells.
May 14, 2006 - "Don Ingber is a cell biologist from Harvard Medical School, Children's Hospital. One day he saw a piece of modern sculpture and - Eureka! - he was inspired to make a major breakthrough in biology. Lu Olkowski reports on the unlikely epiphany. " Go to CH interactive website on tensegrity cell models

Donald Ingber and his work on tensegrity in cells will be the focus of an episode of National Public Radio's STUDIO 360 series on creativity in science. This segment will be aired the weekend of May 12-14, 2006. Stations and times for your local area can be found at This program will be aired in Boston on WBUR 90.9 FM, this Sunday at 12 PM.

A Space Race To the Bottom Line
March 17, 2006 - Flush with new discoveries, NASA’s space and earthscientists now must figure out how to get by on $3 billion.less than they expected—without triggering a civil war. SCIENCE Vol 311

The editorial board of the journal "Biomaterials" has chosen the following paper that result from a collaboration between our laboratory and that of Dr. George Whitesides (Harvard U.) to be among the top 25 papers published in their journal over the past 25 years: Kane RS, Takayama S, Ostuni E, Ingber DE, Whitesides GM. Patterning proteins and cells using soft lithography. Biomaterials 1999 Dec;20(23-24):2363-76.

Molecular Tissue Profiling Reveals Origins of Infantile Hemangioma
January, 27, 2006 - "The beauty of GEDI is that you actually get a visual portrait," said Barnes, "so differences and similarities become apparent right away." FOCUS


Scientists Discover Secret Behind Human Red Blood Cell's Amazing Flexibility
October 21, 2005 - In a paper published in the October issue of Annals of Biomedical Engineering, which was made available online on Oct. 21, a team of UCSD researchers describe a mathematical model that explains how a mesh-like protein skeleton gives a healthy human red blood cell both its rubbery ability to stretch without breaking, and a potential mechanism to facilitate diffusion of oxygen across its membrane. UCSD NEWS RELEASE

Tumor malignancy linked to rigidity
September 19, 2005 - These findings could help explain why cells on plastic dishes transform, lead to new anticancer drugs. by Charles Choi.The Scientist

Building Rules for Living Cells and Tissues: From the Nanoscale to the Macroscale
September 13, 2005 - A lecture given by Donald Ingber at the Nanobiotechnology Center (NBTC).

Nanomechanical life
August 12, 2005 - Donald Ingber of Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital Boston described a conceptual framework within which signaling between and within cells—and between different parts of a cell such as membrane receptors and the genes in the nucleus—is mechanically mediated. In one series of experiments, for example, he and his colleagues subjected cells to different degrees of stretching. The scientists found that they could exploit this stimulus to selectively induce growth, differentiation, quiescence, or cell-death. It was a crisp demonstration of how central and powerful mechanical properties and processes are to what cells do.

Comment on Cell fates as high-dimensional attractor states of a complex gene regulatory network.
June, 2005 - "The robustness of development to external perturbations has led to the suggestion that differentiated cell fates represent stable attractor states, which can be reached through more than one pathway. The authors provide the first experimental evidence for this, taking advantage of the fact that the differentiation of human neutrophils can be induced by two different chemicals. Using microarray analysis, they showed that the gene-expression pathways induced by the two chemicals were almost entirely different, but resulted in the same biological endpoint."

HMS and Children’s Announce New Endowed Chairs
May 20, 2005 - Two new endowed chairs at HMS and Children’s Hospital Boston were celebrated in April. FOCUS

Micro scalpel offers unprecedented precision
March 26, 2005 - "Now we can begin to look at the functions of individual molecules in the physical context of where theyoperate in the cell," says Donald Ingber, a cell biologist at Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital Boston.

Many paths, one destination
March, 2005 - How does a single type of progenitor cell form the diverse array of cells that make up an organism? Sui Huang et al. have approached this question by tracking the route taken by cultured cells differentiating from one cell type into another. Nature comment by Surridge.

Precursor Cells Follow Different Paths to Same Cell Fate
April 8, 2005 - “Our view is that a cell’s differentiation state is there as a pre-existing program, an attractor, and all you need is to tip over into it,?said Sui Huang. “You do not need very specific instructional inputs.FOCUS

Mystery of how lungs grow is solved - Cells 'feel' the pressure to grow
March 25, 2005 - "We've shown that we can speed up lung development, and that we can slow it down by decreasing tension," says Donald Ingber, Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School. by William J. Cromie Harvard Gazette Archives

Mechanical Forces Speed Up Growth of the Lung
Feb. 25, 2005 - Donald Ingber and colleagues accelerated the development of embryonic mouse lungs by altering cytoskeletal tension. “I had the theory out there for years, and this is basic experimental confirmation,?said Ingber. FOCUS

Mechanical tension helps shape lung development
Feb. 18, 2005 - Dr. Ingber gave a press briefing at the AAAS meeting on Thursday, Feb. 17, and his scientific presentation took place on Friday.


Electrochemical Polishing Technique Yields Apparatus for Manipulation of Microto Nanometer-Sized Magnetic Beads(Page 7)
Nov. 2004 -

Looking to mechanics to explain what cells do and how they develop
Fall/Winter 2004 - Donald Ingber applied Buckminster Fuller’s concept of tensegrity - the interplay of compression and tension underlying structures - to the study of cell biology. Yale Medicine

Ingber awarded Harvard Endowed Chair
July 1, 2004 - Donald Ingber, MD, PhD was named as the first incumbent of the Judah Folkman Professorship of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School.

Sculpting life - Boston Globe article on Donald Ingber discovery of cellular tensegrity
July 26, 2004 - "It was like touching the heartstrings of the universe," he says. by Raja Mishra, Globe Staff.

International Conference on Complex Systems 2004
May 2004 - Interviews with Donald Ingber and Sui Huang individually, Video Summaries.

Angiogenesis Inhibitors Revived, Revealed in Progress Against Cancer
March 19, 2004 - "TNP-470 was born here and is being improved here," said Judah Folkman, pictured above with scientists who have worked on the potent and newly promising angiogenesis inhibitor over the last two decades. From left are Donald Ingber, who discovered TNP-470 in the 1980s, Arin Greene, Ronit Satchi-Fainaro, Mark Puder, Folkman, and Gabriel Corfas. FOCUS

The Mechanical Cell
Spring, 2004 - Researcher Don Ingber looks to art and architecture for inspiration on explaining disease. Children's Dream Magazine

Art for Smart People - The mathematical sculptures of Kenneth Snelson
January 9, 2004 - by Elisabeth Eaves, MSN Slate Magazine


Lasers operate inside single cells
October 6, 2003 - "It's a microscopic James Bond type of scenario," says team member Donald Ingber, a cell biologist at Harvard. "It generates the heat of the Sun, but only for quintillionths of a second, and in a very small space." Nature News by John Whitfield.

Tensegrity and Systems Biology
2003 - "Don Ingber put forward the idea that cells use a form of tensegrity some 20 years ago, proposing that microfilaments and intermediate filaments bear tensional forces, which are balanced by microtubules and focal adhesions." Journal of Cell Science 116, e701-e701 (2003)

Stretching changes stem cells' fate
December 13, 2003 - Cells under tension make bone not fat. Nature

Exacting World of Laser Surgery Can Change in a Femtosecond
Nov. 13, 2003 - Don Ingber says the technology might be scaled up to do surgery without scarring or perhaps to deliver drugs through the skin. smalltimes

Does Tensegrity Make the Machine Work?
Feb. 10, 2003 - by S.Jenkins. The Scientist


The Big Idea: Tensegrity
Dec. 1, 2002 - by Donald Ingber. Esquire magazine - Best & Brightest issue

Interview with Donald E. Ingber
July, 2002 - By Diane Morgan. CULTURE MACHINE

Curious Skeletons
June 19, 2002 - Deep within the cells we're made of, squishy skeletons feel the effects of gravity ... and respond in unexpected ways. NASA

Venture capital flowing into biotech start-ups
May 9, 2002 - Herald Tribune.

CELL BIOLOGY: Cell Migration Research Is on the Move
January 25, 2002 - "Imagine you have a little water balloon," Ingber explains. "In a circle, it's spreading out equally in all directions. But if you keep trying to pull it out on a square, the corners get stretched more than the sides. So by changing the shape, you've constrained where the cell puts its adhesions. And that constrains where it applies stress, which apparently dictates where it migrates." by Marina Chicurel. Science, Vol 295, Issue 5555, 606-609.


Tensegrity lives
July 23, 2001 - For 20 years the notion that stability of cell shape is based on the rules of an architectural system known as tensegrity has been raising hackles in cell biology. Now tensegrity's foremost proponent, Donald Ingber of Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, reports additional experimental evidence supporting the hypothesis. JCB 154(2): 254-a-255.


Opposing views on tensegrity as a structural framework for understanding cell mechanics
October 2000 - by Donald E. Ingber J Appl. Physiol. 89: 1663-1678, 2000

A Biologist's Maverick Theory Likens Cell Form to Fuller's Geodesic Domes
Feb. 4, 2000 - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Don't Die, Stay Pretty
Jan. 2000 - Wired


Hard cell, soft cell
October 2, 1999 - Martin Brookes reports. Take some wooden dowels, elastic cord and a radical notion borrowed from architecture. Now apply liberally to cell biology and watch what happens. NewScientist

Cells Prove to Have Strong Response to Their Physical Environment
September 3, 1999 - Force of Extracellular Matrix Pushes Cells Toward Death or Division. FOCUS

Appointments to Full and Endowed Professorships
August 13, 1999 - Donald Ingber, Professor of Pathology, Children's Hospital, was appointed to a full professorship in June. FOCUS


Persistence Prevails for John Scott Recipients
December 7, 1998 - by Paul Smaglik. The Scientist 12 (24):1

Profile: Starving Tumors of Their Lifeblood
October 1998 - No, Judah Folkman probably won't cure cancer in two years. He says he simply hopes to render it a manageable, chronic disease. Scientific American

Best Actors in A SUPPORTING ROLE - Variety of structural proteins play key parts in cells' function
March 9, 1998 - By Sue Goetinck. "Living cells are literally hardwired by a continuous series of molecular struts and cables," said cell biologist Dr. Dinald Ingber... The Dallas Morning News.

Biotech Firms On Quest For Apoptotic Therapies
March 16, 1998 - By Paul Smaglik. STRUCTURE IS KEY. Harvard Medical School's Donald Ingber thinks that apoptosis can be induced by interfering with a cell's structure in addition to its biochemistry. The Scientist 12 (6):1

Tugging at a Cell's Heartstrings
February 17, 1998 - Although biologists have long known that cells respond to physical stimuli such as the touch of neighboring cells, no one has been able to explain how cells translate those signals into action. A team led by Donald Ingber of Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston had already shown that tugging on particular parts of the cell surface can rearrange the nucleus (Science, 2 May 1997, p. 678), but Ingber says the latest experiments are the first to to elucidate how mechanical forces on the cell's surface influence protein assembly inside the cell. ScienceNOW


Shape Becomes a Life or Death Matter
October 2, 1997 - By William J. Cromie. "Cells of different shapes respond differently to the same signals from their surroundings," says Donald Ingber, associate professor of pathology at the Medical School. "They can, for example, roll up and form blood vessels, or they can die for no apparent reason. We are trying to determine how these decisions are made." Harvard University Gazette

Stretching Is Good for a Cell
May 30, 1997 - by Erkki Ruoslahti On page 1425 of this issue, Chen et al. (2) report a significant advance in the understanding of how anchorage dependence works. SCIENCE


Turning On Cells With A Twist Or A Drug
December, 1996 - ... Donald Ingber of the Harvard Medcial School in Boston, are pursuing the mechanical connection, linking receptors in the cell membrane with the physical transmission of messages via the cytoskeleton. The Journal of NIH Research.

Donald Ingber Named Distinguished Lecturer at Stanford
Fall/Winter, 1995-1996 - Health Sciences and Technology Newsletter.

Harvard Expert to Lecture on Biomechanical Engineering
May 22, 1996 - Standford Report.


DNA 'Scaffold' May Give Clues to Cancer
April, 1995 - "A paradigm shift" is occurring as biologists begin to relize that cells have internal architectures defined by NMPs and similar proteins, says Harvard Medcial School research Donald Ingber. THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Nuclear Matrix Proteins Show Promise as Bladder, Prostate Cancer Markers
March, 1995 - By Michael Carlowicz. "Cancer is a disease of structure - the deregulation and uncoupling of the whole cell structure - and that's becoming more and more clear to clinicians," noted Donald Ingber, MD, PhD, ...Clinical Laboratory News.


WORD: A (Bucky) Fuller Universe.
1994 - by beedge from New Dimensions Journal. The Hierarchy of Life. Dr. Donald Ingber, Cancer Researcher. "This is the way nature works..." ( A audio interview )

Researchers Show Role of Architecture in Cell Life
February 11, 1994 - "To understand life, you must understand its architecture, as well as its chemistry," Dr. Donald Ingber said. Harvard Gazette

Cell Biologists Get the Message in New Orleans
January 7, 1994 - ... "It's really exciting, " says Donlad Ingberof Harvard Medical School, who's also studying the ECM. "[Bissell] has brought regulation of gene transcription into the realm of the ECM." SCIENCE vol. 263


Angiogenic and Angiostatic Drugs: Reshaping Biotech's Future
September, 1992 - "The whole field went molecular," says Ingber, ... BIO/TECHNOLOGY VOL 10


No Cure Yet, But Success at an Early Stage
February 14, 1991 - The Harvard Crimson

Major Advances in Angiogenesis Research
January 3, 1991 - FOCUS

New Breakthroughs with Angiogenesis
Spring, 1991 - Harvard Medical School - Perspectives