Colloid and Polymer Science

, Volume 289, Issue 5–6, pp 721–728 | Cite as

Determination of the bulk modulus of microgel particles

  • Benjamin Sierra-Martin
  • Justin A. Frederick
  • Yesenia Laporte
  • George Markou
  • Juan Jose Lietor-Santos
  • Alberto Fernandez-Nieves
Original Contribution


In this paper, we present an in-depth study of a non-invasive method to determine the bulk modulus of microgel particles. The method relies on measuring the particle size as a function of external osmotic pressure using dynamic light scattering to measure the particle size and dextran solutions to change the osmotic pressure. An independent characterization of the dynamic response of the dextran solutions is required in order to obtain the microgel size in the microgel/dextran mixtures. The method works fine in most cases except for slightly crosslinked microgels, where the scattering from the particles is comparable to the scattering from the dextrans.


Microgel Compressibility Bulk modulus Elasticity Dextran Light scattering 



This work is supported by NSF through the GaTech MRSEC (DMR-0820382). J.J.L-S. and B.S-M. thank Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion (DPI2008-06624-C03-03). J.A.F. and Y.L. thank financial support provided by the SURE program (NSF EEC-0851643). We thank T. South and L. A. Lyon for the pNIPAM-PEG microgel synthesis. We are also thankful to J. Mattson and H. M. Wyss for early discussions in the development of this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Sierra-Martin
    • 1
  • Justin A. Frederick
    • 1
  • Yesenia Laporte
    • 1
  • George Markou
    • 1
  • Juan Jose Lietor-Santos
    • 1
  • Alberto Fernandez-Nieves
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PhysicsGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

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