Ti and its alloys are the most commonly-used materials for biomedical applications. However, bacterial infection after implant placement is still one of the significant rising complications. Therefore, the application of the antimicrobial agents into implant surfaces to prevent implant-associated infection has attracted much attention. Scientific papers have shown that inorganic antibacterial metal elements (e.g., Ag, Cu, Zn) can be introduced into implant surfaces with the addition of metal nanoparticles or metallic compounds into an electrolyte via micro-arc oxidation (MAO) technology. In this review, the effects of the composition and concentration of electrolyte and process parameters (e.g., voltage, current density, oxidation time) on the morphological characteristics (e.g., surface morphology, bonding strength), antibacterial ability and biocompatibility of MAO antimicrobial coatings are discussed in detail. Anti-infection and osseointegration can be simultaneously accomplished with the selection of the proper antibacterial elements and operating parameters. Besides, MAO assisted by magnetron sputtering (MS) to endow Ti-based implant materials with superior antibacterial ability and biocompatibility is also discussed. Finally, the development trend of MAO technology in the future is forecasted.
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