One-step synthesis of size-tunable silver nanoparticles (Ag-NP) incorporated into electrospun nanofibers was achieved. Initially, in situ reduction of silver salt (AgNO3) to Ag-NP was carried out in aqueous solution of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). Here, PVA was used as reducing agent and stabilizing polymer as well as electrospinning polymeric matrix for the fabrication of PVA/Ag-NP nanofibers. Afterwards, hydroxypropyl-beta-cyclodextrin (HP beta CD) was used as an additional reducing and stabilizing agent in order to control size and uniform dispersion of Ag-NP. The size of Ag-NP was similar to 8 nm and some Ag-NP aggregates were observed for PVA/Ag-NP nanofibers, conversely, the size of Ag-NP decreased from similar to 8 nm down to similar to 2 nm within the fiber matrix without aggregation were attained for PVA/HP beta CD nanofibers. The PVA/Ag-NP and PVA/HP beta CD/Ag-NP nanofibers exhibited surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) effect. Moreover, antibacterial properties of PVA/Ag-NP and PVA/HP beta CD/Ag-NP nanofibrous mats were tested against Gram-negative (Escherichia coli) and Gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.