The aim of this study was to synthesize and characterize new boron-containing bioactive glass-based scaffolds coated with alginate cross-linked with copper ions. A recently developed bioactive glass powder with nominal composition (wt.%) 65 SiO2, 15 CaO, 18.4 Na2O, 0.1 MgO and 1.5 B2O3 was fabricated as porous scaffolds by the foam replica method. Scaffolds were alginate coated by dipping them in alginate solution. Scanning electron microscopy investigations indicated that the alginate effectively attached on the surface of the three-dimensional scaffolds leading to a homogeneous coating. It was confirmed that the scaffold structure remained amorphous after the sintering process and that the alginate coating improved the scaffold bioactivity and mechanical properties. Copper release studies showed that the alginate-coated scaffolds allowed controlled release of copper ions. The novel copper-releasing composite scaffolds represent promising candidates for bone regeneration. (C) 2011 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.