The present review focuses on core-shell nanostructures of spherical gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) and biocompatible
polymers mainly from the view points of preparation approaches, nanocomposite properties and potential applications
for biology. The preparation approaches are assorted into direct-reduction, covalent “graft-to”, “graft-from” approach,
surface bonding and physical adsorption. Various biocompatible polymers are involved such as the thermosensitive
polymers, pH-responsive polymers, antibiofouling polymers, conductive polymers and several natural polymers. The
encapsulating and loading properties, cellular uptake and drug release control, as well as biorecognition, targeting and
sensing potential are discussed in connection with biological systems. These polymeric gold nanocomposites will have a
great potential in biotechnology and life science but also face enormous challenge in future applications.