Modification of the implant surface with the Arg-Gly-Asp tripeptide (RGD) putatively facilitates osteoblast attachment for improved implant fixation in the laboratory. We compared the histomorphometric and mechanical performance of titanium implants coated with RGD using a novel interface of self-assembled monolayers of phosphonates (RGD/SAMP) and implants coated with RGD using the more conventional thiolate-gold interface (RGD/thiolate-gold). We hypothesized RGD/SAMP-coated implants would show greater bone ongrowth and implant fixation than RGD/thiolate-gold-coated ones. We implanted an RGD/SAMP-coated implant in one femur and an RGD/thiolate-gold-coated in the contralateral femur of 60 rats. At 2, 4, and 8 weeks after implantation, 10 rats were sacrificed for histologic evaluation and another 10 for biomechanical testing. Bone-implant ongrowth and implant force-to-failure of the two implants were similar at all times. Although RGD/SAMP-coated implants did not show superior bone ongrowth and implant fixation, RGD/SAMP-coated implants have at least equally good histomorphometric and mechanical in vivo performance as RGD/thiolate-gold-coated ones. Additional in vivo characterization of self-assembled monolayer films of phosphonates as interface to bond RGD to titanium is needed to explore its full potential and seems justified based on the results of this study.