Abstract Hydroxyapatite layers with silver doping from 0.06at.% to 14at.% were prepared by laser deposition. The films' physical properties such as morphology, composition, crystallinity, Young's modulus and microhardness were measured. Films were amorphous or polycrystalline in dependence on deposition temperature (from RT to 600°C). Antibacterial properties were tested using Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis cells. The antibacterial efficacy changed with silver doping from 4% to 100%. Cytotoxicity was studied by a direct contact test. Depending on doping and crystallinity the films were either non-toxic or mildly toxic.