The viability of cells incubated with dendrimer/protein complexes was evaluated by a standard 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Briefly, HeLa cells or NIH3T3 cells were seeded in a 96-well plate overnight. Then, the culture medium in each well was replaced by 100 μl of serum-free DMEM containing dendrimer/protein complexes, native proteins, or dendrimers. The concentrations of proteins and dendrimers were equal to the optimal concentrations during protein delivery. The cells were incubated for 4 hours, and the media were replaced by 100 μl of fresh DMEM containing 10% FBS. After another 20 hours of incubation, the cells were further tested by MTT assay to determine the cell viability. Five repeats were performed for each sample.

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