Non-fouling TiO2 surfaces are attractive for a wide range of applications such as biosensors and medical devices, where biologically inert surfaces are needed. Typically, this is achieved by controlled surface modifications which prevent protein adsorption. For example, polyethylene glycol (PEG) or PEG-derived polymers have been widely applied to render TiO2 surfaces biologically inert. These surfaces have been further modified in order to achieve specific bio-activation. Therefore, there have been efforts to specifically functionalize TiO2 surfaces with polymers with embedded biotin motives, which can be used to couple streptavidin for further functionalization. As an alternative, here a streptavidin layer was immobilized by self-assembly directly on a biotinylated TiO2 surface, thus forming an anti-adhesive matrix, which can be selectively bio-activated. The anti-adhesive properties of these substrates were analyzed by studying the interaction of the surface coating with fibronectin, lysozym, and osteoblast cells using surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, and light microscopy. In contrast to non-modified TiO2 surfaces, streptavidin-coated TiO2 surfaces led to a very biologically inert substrate, making this type of surface coating a promising alternative to polymer coatings of TiO2 surfaces. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A, 2012.