The layer-by-layer technique, which allows simple preparation of polyelectrolyte multilayers, came into the focus of research for development of functionalized medical devices. Numerous literature exist that concentrate on the film build-up and the behaviour of cells on polyelectrolyte multilayers. However, in case of very soft polyelectrolyte multilayers, studies of the cell behaviour on these films are sometimes misleading with regard to clinical applications because cells do not die due to cytotoxicity but due to apoptosis by missing cell adhesion. It turns out that the adhesion in vitro, and thus, the viability of cells on polyelectrolyte multilayers is mostly influenced by their mechanical properties. In order to decide, which polyelectrolyte multilayers are suitable for implants, we take this problem into account by putting the substrates with soft films on top of pre-cultured human primary endothelial cells ('reverse assay'). Hence, the present work aims giving a more complete and reliable study of typical polyelectrolyte multilayers with regard to clinical applications.In particular, coatings consisting of hyaluronic acid and chitosan as natural polymers and sulfonated polystyrene and polyallylamine hydrochlorite as synthetic polymers were studied. The adsorption of polyelectrolytes was characterized by physico-chemical methods which show regular buildup. Biological examination of the native or modified polyelectrolyte multilayers was based on their effect to cell adhesion and morphology of endothelial cells by viability assays, immunostaining and scanning electron microscopy.Using the standard method, which is typically applied in literature - seeding cells on top of films - shows that the best adhesion and thus, viability can be achieved using sulfonated polystyrene/polyallylamine hydrochlorite. However, putting the films on top of endothelial cells reveals that hyaluronic acid/chitosan may also be suitable for clinical applications: This result is especially remarkable, since hyaluronic acid and chitosan mediate per se no cytotoxic effects, whereas the individual polyelectrolytes, sulfonated polystyrene and polyallylamine hydrochlorite, and their complexes show slight cytotoxicity.