Quasi-elastic light scattering (QELS) and quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) non-equilibrium and equilibrium studies of competitive interactions of pairs of polymers and proteins with fumed silica and ceramic coatings deposited on QCM crystals show complex interfacial behaviour. The effects observed depend on the adsorption sequence of co-adsorbates, their chemical structure and the morphology and chemical structure of the adsorbent. The equilibrium adsorption and dynamics of interactions of macromolecules with bare adsorbent surface and surface covered with pre-adsorbed polymer or protein, are compared in terms of the distribution functions of the Gibbs free energy of adsorption, which varied from −25 kJ mol−1 on a bare surface to almost 0 kJ mol−1 on a polymer or protein coated surface. Copyright RSC Publishing. Permission to deposit publisher's version.