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This invention relates to an osmotically compacted polyelectrolyte complex having a first region and a second region, the first region having a greater modulus than the second region and a method for preparing such an article. The article comprising the polyelectrolyte complex is produced by contacting a polyelectrolyte complex with a solution comprising an osmolyte at a concentration sufficient to compact the polyelectrolyte complex. The compaction process is terminated before the entire article is osmotically compacted.