Hydrogels have been used as substrates by many researchers in the study of cellular processes. The mechanical properties of these gels play a significant role in the growth of the cells. Significant research using several methods like compression, indentation, atomic force microscopy and manipulation of beads has been performed in the past to characterize the stiffness of these substrates. However, most of the methods employed assume the gel to be incompressible, with a Poisson’s ratio of 0.5. However, Poisson’s ratio can differ from 0.5. Hence, a more complete characterization of the elastic properties of hydrogels requires that one experimentally obtain the value of at least two of the three quantities: Poisson’s ratio, shear modulus, and elastic modulus.

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