A drastic increase of the intracellular microviscosity of red blood cells in the presence of polyethylene glycol (PEG) was established by electron spin resonance using the small spin label molecule 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-N-oxyl-4-one (TEMPONE). The effective osmotic pressure of PEG solutions stressing the cells was estimated by comparison with those cytoplasmic rotational correlation times of TEMPONE measured in NaCl or sucrose containing media of known osmotic pressure.

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