Inkjet printing is a versatile method to apply surface modification procedures in a spatially controlled, cost-effective and mass-fabrication compatible manner. Utilizing this technology, we investigate two different approaches for functionalizing label-free optical waveguide based biosensors: a) surface modification with amine-based functional polymers (biotin-modified polyethylenimine (PEI-B)) employing active ester chemistry and b) modification with dextran based hydrogel thin films employing photoactive benzophenone crosslinker moieties. Whereas the modification with PEI-B ensures high receptor density at the surface, the hydrogel films can serve both as a voluminous matrix binding matrix and as a semipermeable separation layer between the sensor surface and the sample. We use the two surface modification strategies both individually and in combination for binding studies towards the detection of the protein inflammation biomarker, C-reactive protein (CRP). For the specific detection of CRP, we compare two kinds of capture molecules, namely biotinylated antibodies and biotinylated CRP-specific DNA based aptamers. Both kinds of capture molecules were immobilized on the PEI-B by means of streptavidin-biotin affinity binding. As transducer, we use an integrated four-channel silicon nitride (Si<sub>3</sub>N<sub>4</sub>) waveguide based Mach-Zehnder interferometric (MZI) photonic sensing platform operating at a wavelength of 850nm (TM-mode).