Vascular endothelium plays an important role in preventing thrombogenesis. Bioactive molecules such as fibronectin-derived peptide Gly-Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser-Pro (GRGDSP) can be used to modify the surface of cardiovascular implants such as vascular grafts to promote endothelialization. Here we conjugated GRGDSP peptide to the nonfouling surface of an interpenetrating polymer network (IPN), and investigated the effects of the immobilized GRGDSP molecules on EC functions under static and flow conditions at well-defined GRGDSP surface densities (∼0 to 3 pmol/cm2). EC adhesion and spreading increased with GRGDSP surface density, reached a plateau at 1.5 pmol/cm2, and increased further beyond 2.8 pmol/cm2. Cell adhesion and spreading on GRGDSP induced two waves of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation, and 0.2 pmol/cm2 density of GRGDSP was sufficient to activate ERK. EC proliferation rate was not sensitive to GRGDSP surface density, suggesting that cell spreading at low-density of GRGDSP is sufficient to maintain EC proliferation. EC migration on lower-density GRGDSP-IPN surfaces was faster under static condition. With the increase of GRGDSP density, the speed and persistence of EC migration dropped quickly (0.2–0.8 pmol/cm2) and reached a plateau, followed by a slower and gradual decrease (1.5–3.0 pmol/cm2). These data suggest that the changes of EC functions were more sensitive to the increase of GRGDSP density at lower range. Under flow condition with shear stress at 12 dyn/cm2, EC migration was inhibited on GRGDSP-IPN surfaces, which may be attributed to the assembly of large focal adhesions induced by shear stress, suggesting a catch-bond characteristic for RGD-integrin binding. This study provides a rational base for surface engineering of cardiovascular implants. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res, 2007.