The main confocal microscopy system used in experiments was an Olympus IX73 microscope coupled with a Thorlabs confocal microscopy upgrade. A blue laser (488 nm) was used for fluorescent dye excitation. The fluorescent light was collected through a 25-μm pinhole and passed through optical filters, transparent for wavelengths from 505 to 550 nm for FITC-labeled nanoparticles on the detector. The software ThorImage 3.1 was used for image acquisition. Confocal z stacks were obtained by a motorized focus control, with z-stack step sizes of 1 μm. ImageJ was used for the 2D projections of the confocal z stacks. For lipid measurements, confocal micrographs were obtained using an upright Leica TCS SP5 microscope. DLPC labeled with 1 mol % TR-DHPE was used to determine the surfactant location on the cholesteric liquid crystal–water interface. A scanning laser wavelength of 543 nm was used to excite TR-DHPE.

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