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PAMAM dendrimers have been conjectured for a wide range of biomedical applications due to their tuneable physicochemical properties. However, their application has been hindered by uncertainties in their cytotoxicity, which is influenced by dendrimer generation (i.e. size and surface group density), surface chemistry, and dosage, as well as cell specificity. In this review, biomedical applications of polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers and some related cytotoxicity studies are first outlined. Alongside these in vitro experiments, lipid membranes such as supported lipid bilayers (SLBs), liposomes, and Langmuir monolayers have been used as cell membrane models to study PAMAM dendrimer-membrane interactions. Related experimental and theoretical studies are summarized, and the physical insights from these studies are discussed to shed light on the fundamental understanding of PAMAM dendrimer-cell membrane interactions. We conclude with a summary of some questions that call for further investigations.
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