The suitability of existing topical fibrin glue preparations for tissue sealing or local drug delivery applications is greatly limited by their poor mechanical properties and the limited capacity of fibrinogen (Fgn) to actively bind growth factors or other therapeutic agents. Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) offers potential solutions to these problems by providing a mechanism for increasing the number of crosslinks between adjacent fibrin monomer molecules or for covalently crosslinking Fgn to therapeutic agents. The feasibility of this approach requires the full biological activity, or clottability, of PE glycolated Fgn. This study characterizes the clot characteristics of Fgn modified to varying degrees with monofunctional succinimidyl propionate PEG (5000 Da). The data indicate that, although thrombin clotting times are significantly altered, Fgn maintains 90% of its capacity to clot upon the addition of up to 5 PEG/Fgn. Further derivatization significantly decreases the Fgn clottability. The addition of up to 5 PEG/Fgn has little, if any, effect on the kinetics of degradation by plasmin. The results suggest that limited modification of Fgn with lysine-reactive PEG allows therapeutic enhancement of fibrin glues. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.