Modulus of elasticity of highly charged N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPA) based hydrogels (PNIPA) are measured at various swelling degrees in water. The sodium salt of 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropane sulfonic acid (AMPS) was used as the ionic comonomer of NIPA in the hydrogel preparation. The mole fraction of AMPS in the comonomer feed was varied between 0 and 1, while the crosslinker ratio was fixed at 1/85. The elasticity data show that the equilibrium swollen PNIPA hydrogels are in the non-Gaussian regime. Equations were derived based on the inverse Langevin function for the swelling ratio and the modulus of highly charged PNIPA hydrogels and checked by experiments. Results of calculations show good agreement to the swelling and elasticity data of highly swollen PNIPA gels. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.