bioactive materials possess properties that allow them to interact with natural tissues to induce reactions that favor the development and regeneration of those tissues. in this study, silica was prepared by the sol-gel method, using tetraethylorthosilicate as the precursor. the calcium and phosphor sources used here were calcium ethoxy and phosphoric acid, respectively, in ethanol solvent. the solid obtained was dried at 50 oc. in vitro bioactivity assays were performed by soaking the materials in simulated body fluid (sbf). the samples were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (tem), thermal analysis and photoluminescence. tem images of the samples before contact with sbf revealed amorphous aggregates and after 12 days in sbf showed two phases, one amorphous with large quantities of si and o, and the other a crystalline phase whose composition contained ca and p. the electron diffraction pattern showed a planar distance of 2.86 ？, corresponding to 2θ = 32.2o. this was ascribed to hydroxyapatite. the eu iii was used as structural probe. the relative band intensity correspondent the transition 5d0 → 7f2 / 5d0 → 7f1 showed a high symmetry surrounding the eu iii ion. these materials, produced by the sol-gel route, open up new possibilities for obtaining bioactive biomaterials for medical applications.