In this study, a porous oxide layer was formed on the surface of 316L stainless steel (SS) by combining Ti magnetron sputtering and plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO) with the aim to produce a polymer-free drug carrier for drug eluting stent (DES) applications. The oxidation was performed galvanostatically in Na 3PO 4 electrolyte. The surface porosity, average pore size and roughness varied with PEO treatment duration, and under optimum conditions, the surface showed a porosity of 7.43%, an average pore size of 0.44 µm and a roughness (Ra) of 0.34 µm. The EDS analyses revealed that the porous layer consisted of Ti, O and P. The cross-sectional morphology evidenced a double-layer structure, with a porous titania surface and an un-oxidized dense Ti film towards the interface with 316L SS. After the PEO treatment, wettability and surface free energy increased significantly. The results of the present study confirm the feasibility of forming a porous TiO 2 layer on stainless steel by combining sputtering technology and PEO. Further, the resultant porous oxide layer has the potential to be used as a drug carrier for DES, thus avoiding the complications associated with the polymer based carriers.