Acrylamide based hydrogel particles with variable charge were synthesized in different sizes using a biocompatible surfactant. We use microemulsion polymerization to synthesize the hydrogel particles in lecithin organogel systems. The phospholipid, lecithin, is a soybean extract that exhibits a rich phase behavior depending on various factors such as amount of water, co-solvent, additives and their concentrations. By UV irradiation of water-in-oil microemulsions of lecithin, containing different monomers, phospholipid coated hydrogels were synthesized in situ. The hydrogel particle size varies from a few hundred nanometers to tens of micrometer. The response time of these micron sized hydrogel particles, as measured by swelling experiments, is very fast (similar to 10(0) s) in comparison with their corresponding bulk hydrogels (similar to 10(1) h). The positively charged cationic hydrogel microparticles were embedded/dispersed into another hydrogel matrix to render responsive behavior to a non-responsive matrix. Besides TEM and SEM studies, fluorescein dye absorption studies were also performed in order to visualize the hydrogel microparticles. Additionally, anionic hydrogel micro/nano-particles were also synthesized in the lecithin system. Published by Elsevier Ltd.