There is much interest in silver containing glasses for use in bone replacement owing to the demonstrated antibacterial effect. In this work, 2 and 8 mol % of silver was added during the sol-gel process to the composition of a bioactive glass belonging to CaO-SiO2-P2O5 system. The samples were characterized by means of ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) techniques to demonstrate that the silver is embedded into the glass matrix as nanoparticles. Bioactivity test in simulated body fluid proved that the presence of silver in the bioactive glass composition, even in high amount, preserve or even improve the bioactivity of the starting glass, and consequently, leads to the carbonated apatite formation, which is the prerequisite for bioactive materials to bond with living bones. Complementary information proving these findings were delivered by performing X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, and XPS measurements. The presence of silver also improves protein binding capability to the bioactive glass surface as demonstrated by cw-electron paramagnetic resonance experiments and XPS measurements. (C) 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A:, 2012.