A bioactive mesoporous titanium dioxide (MT) coating for surface drug delivery has been investigated to develop a multifunctional implant coating, offering quick bone bonding and biological stability. An evaporation induced self-assembly (EISA) method was used to prepare a mesoporous titanium dioxide coating of the anatase phase with BET surface area of 172 m2/g and average pore diameter of 4.3 nm. Adhesion tests using the scratch method and an in situ screw-in/screw-out technique confirm that the MT coating bonds tightly with the metallic substrate, even after removal from bone. Because of its high surface area, the bioactivity of the MT coating is much better than that of a dense TiO2 coating of the same composition. Quick formation of hydroxyapatite (HA) in vitro can be related to enhance bonding with bone. The uptake of antibiotics by the MT coating reached 13.4 mg/cm3 within a 24 h loading process. A sustained release behavior has been obtained with a weak initial burst. By using Cephalothin as a model drug, drug loaded MT coating exhibits a sufficient antibacterial effect on the material surface, and within millimeters from material surface, against E.coli. Additionally, the coated and drug loaded surfaces showed no cytotoxic effect on cell cultures of the osteoblastic cell line MG-63. In conclusion, this study describes a novel, biocompatiblemesoporous implant coating, which has the ability to induce HA formation and could be used as a surface drug-delivery system. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 2012.