The adsorption of antithrombin III (AT III) onto polystyrene surfaces preadsorbed with albumin or albuminheparin conjugates was studied using a two step enzyme immuno assay. When AT III-buffer solutions were used, the highest adsorption values were measured on high affinity albumin-heparin conjugate pretreated surfaces. Less AT III adsorption was found on nonfractionated albumin-heparin conjugate preadsorbed surfaces. AT III adsorption could also be detected on low affinity conjugate and albumin coated surfaces. When AT III was adsorbed from plasma or plasma dilutions with buffer, only AT III on surfaces preadsorbed with high affinity or nonfractionated albumin-heparin conjugate was found. These results demonstrate that the heparin moiety of the conjugate is directed to the solution phase whereas the albumin moiety contacts the polystyrene surfaca.