Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) biomaterials with luminescent ruthenium tris(bipyridine) centers couple drug delivery and imaging functions. Hydrophobic [Ru(bpyPLA2)3](PF6)2 (1) was generated from [Ru[bpy(CH2OH)2]3](PF6)2 in bulk monomer using 4-(dimethylamino)pyridine as the catalyst. The bromoesters, [Ru[bpy(CH2OR)2]3](PF6)2, [Ru[bpy(C13H27)2][bpy(CH2OR]2](PF6)2 (4), and [Ru[bpy(PLAOR)2]3]2+ (9) (R=COCBr(CH3)2), served as initiators for tert-butyl acrylate (tBA) polymerization. Conversion of PtBA to PAA via hydrolysis affords water soluble materials, [Ru(bpyPAA2)3]2+ (7) and [Ru[bpy(C13H27)2](bpyPAA2)2]2+ (8) and the amphiphilic star polymer [Ru[bpy(PLA-PAA)2]3)](PF6)2 (11), which is soluble in a H2O/CH3CN (1:1) mixture. Luminescence excitation and emission spectra of the Ru polymers were in agreement with the parent [Ru(bpy)3]2+ chromophore (lambdaex=468, lambdaem=621 nm). Lifetimes of tau approximately 700 ns in both air and nitrogen atmospheres are typical for most materials; however, the amphiphilic star block copolymer 11 is quenched by oxygen to some degree. Thermal analysis shows the expected glass transitions for the polymeric ruthenium complex materials.