The control over biointerfacial interactions is the key to a broad range of biomedical applications, ranging from implantable devices to drug delivery and nanomedicine. In many of these applications, coatings are required that reduce or prevent non-specific interactions with the biological environment, while at the same time presenting specific bioactive signals. Whilst surface coatings based on polymers such as poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) have been used successfully, many limitations persist in regard to the biocompatibility, stability and functionality of state-of-the-art polymer coatings. Most of these limitations are related to the fact that, typically, linear polymers are used with associated limited chemical functionality. Here, we examine the development of hyperbranched polyglycerols (HPGs) as promising candidates for the replacement of traditional linear polymers, such as the chemically analogous PEG, for the control of biointerfacial interactions. HPGs are highly branched globular molecules that exhibit a high valency, allow easy access to a variety of functionalities and can present biologically active signals. In this review, a comprehensive overview is provided with respect to the history, synthetic strategies, modifications and applications of HPGs.