Elastin-like polypeptide (ELP) surface modification represents a valuable approach for the development of biomaterials in a wide range of medical applications. In this study, ELP surface modification has been achieved through the use of elastin cross-linking peptide (ECP) bioactive fluorinated surface modifiers (ECP-BFSMs). The synthesis of low molecular weight fluorinated additives was described and their subsequent blending with a base polycarbonate urethane (PCNU) was shown to successfully enrich the surface to allow for ELP surface cross-linking via lysine moieties on the peptide segments of the ECP-BFSMs. The kinetics for the surface migration of fluorescent ECP-BFSMs was studied over a 2-week period by two-photon confocal microscopy. A decrease in advancing contact angle from 87.9° to 75.3° was observed for ECP-BFSM modified PCNU and was associated with the presence of ECP peptides on the surface. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy demonstrated an increase in surface atomic percent of fluorine (from 0.2 to 7.2%) and nitrogen (from 1.0 to 3.0%) associated with the surface localization of fluoro groups and amide groups associated with the peptides in the ECP-BFSMs. A further increase in surface atomic percent of nitrogen (from 3.0 to 8.3%) was observed after ELP surface cross-linking. These ELP-modified surfaces were shown to promote increased smooth muscle cell adhesion, spreading and retention over a 7-day culture period relative to their non-ELP4 analogs. This novel surface modifying additive approach may be used for various biomimetic applications since it generates a stable ECM-like surface retained onto a relatively inert fluorinated background. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A:, 2011.