Tubes of different polymer materials were filled with blood collected by venous puncture. The blood was allowed to clot for 10 min, and the serum was collected. Complement activation was demonstrated through assessment of the C3-level by radial immunodiffusion. Phospholipid fingerprints were made after lipid extraction of serum and separation by thin-layer chromatography. The granulocyte fraction of venous blood was separated on a Percoll gradient and the cells were either loaded with a calcium probe, or incubated with luminol. These cells were used as a biological test for inflammatory mediators. Serum from blood coagulated in contact with different materials was added to the test cells. The intracellular calcium level was recorded by Calcium Green-1 fluorescence and the respiratory burst of the test cells was recorded by luminol-amplified chemiluminescence. Serum from blood coagulated in contact with glass tubes, methylised glass tubes and teflon (PTFE) tubes induced a transient increase of the cellular calcium level, indicating a G protein-coupled activation of the test cells. Serum from blood coagulated in contact with glass tubes, methylised glass tubes, and PTFE tubes primed the test cells for a subsequent f-MLP response. Serum from blood coagulated in contact with polyurethane and polypropylene induced a direct biphasic respiratory burst response in the test cells and serum from blood coagulated in contact with methylised glass induced a direct monophasic respiratory burst response in the test cells. Complement activation was demonstrated after blood contact with hydrophobic glass and PTFE. Different fingerprints of phospholipid content were found in sera after blood contact with different materials. The data show that different inflammatory mediators are released during blood coagulation in contact with different materials. The method may be valuable as a screening test for blood compatibility of materials.