Gold nanoparticles prepared by laser ablation in aqueous biocompatible solutions: assessment of safety and biological identity for nanomedicine applications Abstract: Due to excellent biocompatibility, chemical stability, and promising optical properties , gold nanoparticles (Au-NPs) are the focus of research and applications in nanomedicine. Au-NPs prepared by laser ablation in aqueous biocompatible solutions present an essentially novel object that is unique in avoiding any residual toxic contaminant. This paper is conceived as the next step in development of laser-ablated Au-NPs for future in vivo applications. The aim of the study was to assess the safety, uptake, and biological behavior of laser-synthesized Au-NPs prepared in water or polymer solutions in human cell lines. Our results showed that laser ablation allows the obtaining of stable and monodisperse Au-NPs in water, polyethylene glycol, and dextran solutions. The three types of Au-NPs were internalized in human cell lines, as shown by transmission electron microscopy. Biocompatibility and safety of Au-NPs were demonstrated by analyzing cell survival and cell morphology. Furthermore, incubation of the three Au-NPs in serum-containing culture medium modified their physicochemical characteristics , such as the size and the charge. The composition of the protein corona adsorbed on Au-NPs was investigated by mass spectrometry. Regarding composition of complement C3 proteins and apolipoproteins, Au-NPs prepared in dextran solution appeared as a promising drug carrier. Altogether, our results revealed the safety of laser-ablated Au-NPs in human cell lines and support their use for theranostic applications.