We have investigated core-crosslinked star polymer nanoparticles designed with tunable release chemistries as potential nanocarriers for a photoactive Re(i) organometallic complex. The nanoparticles consisted of a brush poly(oligo-ethylene glycol)methyl ether acrylate (POEGA) corona and a cross-linked core of non-biodegradable N,N′-methylenebis(acrylamide) (MBAA) and either pentafluorophenyl acrylate (PFPA), 3-vinyl benzaldehyde (VBA) or diacetone acrylamide (DAAM). Each star was modified with an amine functionalized photodynamic agent (i.e. a rhenium(i) organometallic complex) resulting in the formation of either a stable amide bond (POEGA-star-PFPA), or hydrolytically labile aldimine (POEGA-star-VBA) or ketimine bonds (POEGA-star-DAAM). These materials revealed linker dependent photo- and cytotoxicity when tested in vitro against non-cancerous lung fibroblast MRC-5 cells and HeLa human cervical cancer cells: the toxicity results correlated with final intracellular Re concentrations.