AbstractDespite the increasing need for universal polymer coating strategies, only a few approaches have been successfully developed, and most of them are suffering from color, high thickness, or high roughness. In this paper, we present for the first time a universal monolayer coating that is only a few nanometers thick and independent of the composition, size, shape, and structure of the substrate. The coating is based on a bioinspired synthetic amphiphilic block copolymer that combines two concepts from blood protein adsorption and mussel adhesion. This polymer can be rapidly tethered on various substrates including both planar surfaces and nanosystems with high grafting density. The resulting monolayer coatings are, on the one hand, inert to the adsorption of multiple polymer layers and prevent biofouling. On the other hand, they are chemically active for secondary functionalization and provide a new platform for selective material surface modification.