Contact area and load-bearing area size and average thickness of liquid layer calculation

To estimate the contact area using the fluorescent liquid, the original image of contact area was deconvoluted with the point spread function by using the ImageJ Iterative Deconvolution software. To calculate the average thickness of the liquid layer between the sphere and the coverslip, intensities were converted into gaps by comparing a fluorescence intensity image with the reflection of the laser light from the bead (Newton rings; see Materials and Methods). Last, values of the height of the pixels corresponding to the contact area were averaged (derived from the thresholded image).

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