Owing to its good biocompatibility and low cost, stainless steel is one of the most widely utilized biomaterial. However, longtime assessment of stainless steel has shown problems related to material degradation, especially localized corrosion and bio-film formation. In addition, the leaching of toxic nickel and chromium ions from stainless steel leads to additional health complications. Here, we utilized submerged friction stir processing, a severe surface deformation technique for significantly enhancing its durability, bio-activity as well as antibacterial resistance. The processing was done with a wide variation in strain rates to produce tunable surface microstructure. High strain-rate processing resulted in nearly single-phase fine-grained microstructure, while slow strain-rate processing developed a dual-phase fine-grained microstructure. The bio-corrosion rate of processed steel was reduced by more than 60 \% along with significant enhancement in the pitting resistance. The processed steel showed nearly no bacterial adhesion/biofilm formation, evaluated using S. aureus and E. coli bacterial strains. Further, the processed stainless steel surface demonstrated minimum leaching of the toxic elements, significantly enhancing its appeal for bio-implant applications. The observed behavior was explained based on the formation of a stable passive layer, rich in Cr2O3, as determined using x-ray photoelectron microscopy (XPS) and increased hydrophilicity. © 2020 Elsevier B.V.