PhD defence

Catching up! Rational design of bio-inspired catch bonds

PhD candidate MM (Martijn) van Galen MSc
Promotor JHB (Joris) Sprakel
Co-promotor HB (Bauke) Albada
Organisation Wageningen University, Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter

Fri 9 February 2024 16:00 to 17:30

Venue Omnia, building number 105
Hoge Steeg 2
6708 PH Wageningen
+31 (0) 317 - 484500
Room Auditorium


Living organisms are constantly exposed to mechanical forces, such as gravity, air pressure, or forces between organisms. To cope with these forces, biological materials have developed catch bonds: protein bonds that become stronger as they are placed under increasing forces. Thanks to these catch bonds, many biological materials are easily deformable at low forces but stable at high forces. If such catch bonds could also be incorporated into synthetic materials, we could develop a new kind of material that is both deformable and strong. In this research, we have developed the first artificial catch bonds to make this possible.