Ultrasound imaging is a powerful tool in medicine because of the millisecond temporal resolution and submillimeter spatial resolution of acoustic imaging. However, the current generation of acoustic contrast agents is primarily limited to vascular targets due to their large size. Nanosize particles have the potential to be used as a contrast agent for ultrasound molecular imaging. Silica-based nanoparticles have shown promise here; however, their slow degradation rate may limit their applications as a contrast agent. Phosphate-based glasses are an attractive alternative with controllable degradation rate and easily metabolized degradation components in the body. In this study, biodegradable P2O5-CaO-Na2O phosphate-based glass nanospheres (PGNs) were synthesized and characterized as contrast agents for ultrasound imaging. The structure of the PGNs was characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), X-ray diffraction (XRD), (31)P magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance ((31)P MAS NMR), and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The SEM images indicated a spherical shape with a diameter size range of 200-500 nm. The XRD, (31)P NMR, and FTIR results revealed the amorphous and glassy nature of PGNs that consisted of mainly Q(1) and Q(2) phosphate units. We used this contrast to label mesenchymal stem cells and determined in vitro and in vivo detection limits of 5 and 9 μg/mL, respectively. Cell counts down to 4000 could be measured with ultrasound imaging with no cytoxicity at doses needed for imaging. Importantly, ion-release studies confirmed these PGNs biodegrade into aqueous media with degradation products that can be easily metabolized in the body.