I've been having a puzzle explaining the experimental results with the citrate anions and PEG modified polyacrylamide:

According to the experimental data there is a hydrogel swelling whenever citrate is added to a 10mM PBS solution. However, according to the Hofmeister series, citrate is a well known salting-out agent, which would absorb water, thus make the hydrogel contract. In addition that, the swelling is diminished when the concentration of salts (ionic strength) is increased in a bulk solution. Any ideas?



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