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Metamaterials are artificial structures with the ability of exhibiting unusual and exotic electromagnetic properties such as the realisation of negative permittivity and permeability. Due to their unique characteristics, metamaterials have drawn broad interest and are considered to be a promising solution for improving the performance and overcoming the limitations of microwave components and especially antennas. This paper presents a detailed review of the most recent advancements associated with the design of metamaterial-based antennas. A brief introduction to the theory of metamaterials is provided in order to gain an insight into their working principle. Furthermore, the current state-of-the-art regarding antenna miniaturisation, gain and isolation enhancement with metamaterials is investigated. Emphasis is primarily placed on practical metamaterial antenna applications that outperform conventional methods and are anticipated to play an active role in future wireless communications. The paper also presents and discusses various design challenges that demand further research and development efforts.