Human blood platelets and SK-N-AS neuroblastoma cancer-cell capture at spontaneously adsorbed monolayers of fibrinogen-binding motifs, GRGDS (generic integrin adhesion), HHLGGAKQAGDV (exclusive to platelet integrin alpha(IIb)beta(3)), or octanethiol (adhesion inhibitor) at planar gold and ordered 1.6 mu m diameter spherical cap gold cavity arrays were compared. In all cases, arginine/glycine/aspartic acid (RGD) promoted capture, whereas alkanethiol monolayers inhibited adhesion. Conversely only platelets adhered to alanine/glycine/aspartic acid (AGD)-modified surfaces, indicating that the AGD motif is recognized preferentially by the platelet-specific integrin, alpha(IIb)beta(3). Microstructuring of the surface effectively eliminated nonspecific platelet/cell adsorption and dramatically enhanced capture compared to RGD/AGD-modified planar surfaces. In all cases, adhesion was reversible. Platelets and cells underwent morphological change on capture, the extent of which depended on the topography of the underlying substrate. This work demonstrates that both the nature of the modified interface and its underlying topography influence the capture of cancer cells and platelets. These insights may be useful in developing cell-based cancer diagnostics as well as in identifying strategies for the disruption of platelet cloaks around circulating tumor cells.