The small size of gold nanoparticles makes them attractive for interacting with biological systems. Moreover, they can be synthesized in a variety of sizes and shapes, resulting in different chemical and physical properties. Au nanostars (NStars), are of particular interest because their syntehsis allows for fine-tuning their optical properties. They possess a surface plasmon resonance (SPR) peak that is tunable throughout the visible and near IR spectrum. Furthermore, their synthesis is facile and can be done in an aqueous nontoxic buffer. Therefore, NStars are interesting for biological applications in targeted photothermal therapy and theranostics, imaging, sensors, and Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS).This work is currently under review for publication.