Abstract: Here we report novel micro-PIV measurements around micron-sized objects that are trapped at the centre of a stagnation point flow generated in a cross-slow microchannel using real-time control. The method enables one to obtain accurate velocity and strain rate fields around the trapped objects under straining flows. In previous works, it has been assumed that the flow field measured in the absence of the object is the one experienced by the object in the stagnation point flow. However, the results reveal that this need not be the case and typically the strain rates experienced by the objects are higher. Therefore, simultaneously measuring the flow field around a trapped object is needed to accurately estimate the undisturbed strain rate (away from the trapped object). By combining the micro-PIV measurements with an analytical solution by Jeffery (Proc R Soc Lond A 102(715):161–179, 1922), we are able to estimate the velocity and strain rate around the trapped object, thus providing a potential fluidic method for characterising mechanical properties of micron-sized materials, which are important in biological and other applications. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]A novel combination of classical micro-PIV and real-time flow control setups enabled us to measure the velocity field around a target trapped in the extensional flow, which opens up new vistas of characterisation of the mechanical properties of micron-sized objects.