Insulin and/or heparin immobilized/co-immobilized non-woven polyester fabric (NWPF) discs were developed for the cultivation of L929 mouse fibroblasts in low-serum media, At first, NWPF discs were hydrolyzed to obtain a carboxylic acid group- introduced matrix (NWPF-hydrolyzed). Insulin and heparin co-immobilized NWPF (NWPF-insulin-heparin) was prepared by the grafting of PEO onto NWPF-hydrolyzed disc (NWPF-PEO), followed by the reaction first with insulin and then heparin. In the presence of spacer arm, PEO, the amount of immobilized insulin molecules significantly increased from 6.96 to 84.45 mu g/cm(2). The amount of heparin bound to the NWPF-PEO (5.93 mu g/cm(2)) was higher than that of the insulin immobilized surface (4.59 mu g/cm(2)). Insulin and heparin immobilized NWPF discs were observed with fluorescence microscopy by labeling the insulin and heparin with 8-anilino-1-naphthalene sulfonic acid (ANS) or fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC), respectively. L929 fibroblasts were used to check the cell adhesion and cell growth capabilities of modified NWPF discs in low-serum media (containing 5% fetal bovine serum). Optical photographs showed that after 2nd day of the culture, fibroblastic cells spread along the length of modified fibers, eventually filling the interfiber space. At the end of 6-day growth period, cell yield in the presence of immobilized heparin was a little bit higher than that of the immobilized insulin. Co-immobilized (insulin/heparin) NWPF discs did not accelerate the cell growth as well as insulin or heparin immobilized discs. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.