Glycosaminoglycans (GAG) are promising biopolymers for the formation of stable surface coatings in the development of biomaterials. Therefore, GAG with different degree of sulfation were chemically activated by oxidation or thiolation and subsequently immobilized on different materials by covalent reactions. The properties of the coated surfaces exhibited characteristic differences in their surface texture, coating thickness, wettability and zeta potential. Studies on protein adsorption with fibronectin and the adhesion behavior of human fibroblasts showed a direct dependence on the degree of sulfation of the immobilized GAG. Thus, the oxidized and thiolated GAG are promising components for the formation of bioactive material coatings and can be used as components of 3D structures like nanoparticles for tissue engineering applications.