Compression and reswelling of microgel particles after an osmotic shock

J.J.F. Sleeboom, P. Voudouris, M.T.J.J.M. Punter, F.J. Aangenendt, D. Florea, P.P.A.M. van der Schoot, H.M. Wyss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
125 Downloads (Pure)


We use dedicated microfluidic devices to expose soft hydrogel particles to a rapid change in the externally applied osmotic pressure and observe a surprising, non-monotonic response: After an initial rapid compression, the particle slowly reswells to approximately its original size. We theoretically account for this behavior, enabling us to extract important material properties from a single microfluidic experiment, including the compressive modulus, the gel permeability, and the diffusivity of the osmolyte inside the gel. We expect our approach to be relevant to applications such as controlled release, chromatography, and responsive materials.
Original languageEnglish
Article number098001
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2017


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