Peritendinous fibrotic adhesions after tendon surgery are still a problem up-to-date. Approaches to overcome or at least minimize adhesion formation include implantation of barrier materials, application of lubricants or combinations of materials and functionalized drugs that are controllably released and support the healing tendon to glide and achieve the full range of motion after regeneration. Although a huge amount of different materials have been experimentally tested, the optimal strategy with respect to material and method has not yet been determined. In this review, we present a historical overview of physical barriers as well as liquid agents that have been used in order to prevent peritendinous adhesion formation. The materials are divided according to their first publication into two time frames; before and after 1980. There is no claim to include all materials tested neither will the "best" material be chosen; however, we present several materials that were experimentally tested in different animal trials as well as in clinical trials in contrast to other materials that were only tested once and disappeared from the assortment of anti-adhesives; which as such is a valuable information about its applicability for this purpose. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 2014.