Catch bonding in the forced dissociation of a polymer endpoint

Cyril Vrusch, Cornelis Storm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
193 Downloads (Pure)


Applying a force to certain supramolecular bonds may initially stabilize them, manifested by a lower dissociation rate. We show that this behavior, known as catch bonding and by now broadly reported in numerous biophysics bonds, is generically expected when either or both the trapping potential and the force applied to the bond possess some degree of nonlinearity. We enumerate possible scenarios and for each identify the possibility and, if applicable, the criterion for catch bonding to occur. The effect is robustly predicted by Kramers theory and Mean First Passage Time theory and confirmed in direct molecular dynamics simulation. Among the catch scenarios, one plays out essentially any time the force on the bond originates in a polymeric object, implying that some degree of catch bond behavior is to be expected in many settings relevant to polymer network mechanics or optical tweezer experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number042405
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2018


  • Mechanical Phenomena
  • Models, Molecular
  • Optical Tweezers
  • Polymers/chemistry


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