Ultra-fine (20 nm) hydroxyapatite powders-reinforced with multi-walled carbon nanotubes were coated on Ti-6Al-4V medical alloy using electrophoretic deposition in an attempt to increase poor mechanical properties of hydroxyapatite, in particular inter-laminar shear strength between coating layer and implant surface. It is shown that the addition of carbon nanotubes increases both hardness, elastic modulus and inter-laminar shear strength of monolithic hydroxyapatite layers. A deposit thickness of 25 mu m is also found to be critical for preventing crack formation during sintering. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd and Techna Group S.r.l. All rights reserved.