Hydroxyapatite is the main inorganic component of biological bone and tooth enamel, and synthetic hydroxyapatite has been widely used as biomaterials. In this study, a facile method has been developed for the fabrication of arginine-functionalized and europium-doped hydroxyapatite nanoparticles (Arg-Eu-HAP). The synthesized nanoparticles characterized by transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffractometry, Fourier transform infrared, and Zeta potential analyzer. Its biological properties with DNA binding, cell toxicity, cell binding and intracellular distribution were tested by agarose gel electrophoresis assay, flow cytometry, and fluorescence microscope and laser scanning confocal microscope. The synthesized Arg-Eu-HAP could effectively bind DNA without any cytotoxicity and be internalized into the cytoplasm and perinuclear of human lung epithelial cells.