Abstract Orthopaedic implant-associated infections are one of the most serious complications in orthopaedic surgery and a major cause of implant failure. In the present work, drug-eluting coatings based on chitosan containing various amounts of vancomycin were prepared by a cathodic electrophoretic deposition process on titanium foils. A three-step release mechanism of the antibiotic from the films in a phosphate-buffered saline solution was noticed. At the early stage, physical encapsulation of the drug in the hydrogel network controlled the release rate. At the late stage, however, in vitro degradation/deattachment of chitosan was responsible for the controlled release. Cytotoxicity evaluation of the drug-eluting coatings via culturing in human osteosarcoma cells (MG-63 osteoblast-like cell line) showed no adverse effect on the biocompatibility. Antibacterial tests against Gram-positive Staphylococcusaureus also demonstrated that the infection risk of titanium foils was significantly reduced due to the antibiotic release. Additionally, in vitro electrochemical corrosion studies by polarization technique revealed that the corrosion current density was significantly lower for the titanium foils with drug-eluting coatings compared to that of uncoated titanium.