Thrombosis associated with medical devices may lead to dramatic increases in morbidity, mortality and increased health care costs. Innovative strategies are being developed to reduce this complication and provide a safe biocompatible interface between device and blood. This article aims to describe the biological phenomena underlying device-associated thrombosis, and surveys the literature describing current and developing technologies designed to overcome this challenge. To reduce thrombosis, biomaterials with varying topographical properties and incorporating anti-thrombogenic substances on their surface have demonstrated potential. Overall, there is extensive literature describing technical solutions to reduce thrombosis associated with medical devices, but clinical results are required to demonstrate significant long-term benefits.