In the present study the initial blood compatibility of glycerol monooleate (GMO)-coated surfaces was evaluated after deposition to surfaces and in bulk. The model surface was silica onto which multiple layers of fibrinogen or human serum albumin (HSA) was immobilized. The protein-coated surfaces were subsequently dip-coated in GMO in ethanol and used for blood plasma and whole blood experiments. The characterization methods included null ellipsometry, scanning electron microscopy, imaging of coagulation, hemolysis test and whole blood coagulation time by free oscillation rheometry. The results showed a GMO film thickness of approximately 350 A (approximately 4 microg/cm(2)) upon dip-coating in ethanolic solution. A major part of the deposited layer detached in aqueous solutions, especially during shear conditions. The coagulation time on GMO was significantly prolonged compared to that on HSA coated silica. Whole blood tests showed that GMO is a very weak hemolytic agent. Deposited GMO detached easily from surfaces upon rinsing or shearing, although a stable layer with undefined phase structure and a thickness of 50-70 A remained on HSA and fibrinogen precoated surfaces. This indicates that GMO has stronger adhesive forces to its substrate compared to the cohesive forces acting within the bulk GMO. The ability of GMO to detach from itself and tentatively form micelles or lipid bilayers when subjected to flowing blood may be of use in extravascular applications. It is concluded that GMO results in weak blood activation, and the material may in spite of this be suitable in selected biomaterial applications, especially as a biosealant and in colloidal dispersions.