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We present a novel approach to probe elastic properties of polyelectrolyte multilayer microcapsules. The method is based on measurements of the capsule load-deformation curves with the atomic force microscope. The experiment suggests that at low applied load deformations of the capsule shell are elastic. Using elastic theory of membranes we relate force, deformation, elastic moduli, and characteristic sizes of the capsule. Fitting to the prediction of the model yields the lower limit fordoi:10.1063/1.1644104 pmid:15268547 fatcat:labhxphby5h43pnor42s4z2jgq