This review surveys some of the recent literature concerning the use of polymer coatings for a variety of biomedical applications. These have been grouped into six broad categories: orthopaedic materials, cardiovascular stents, antibacterial surfaces, drug delivery, tissue engineering and biosensors. These, to some extent overlapping, sections have been ordered such that the literature generally progresses from polymer coatings on metallic to non-metallic substrates. Polymer coatings can bestow a wide range of functionalities due to their various properties, such as antiwear characteristics, mechanical strength, corrosion protection, electrical conductivity, biocompatibility and surface chemistry. The review period is from 2011 to the present (mid-2013).