Bionanoparticles (BNPs), consisting of virus and virus-like assemblies, have attracted much attention in the biomedical field for their applications such as imaging and targeted drug delivery, owing to their well-defined structures and well-controlled chemistries. BNPs-based core-shell structures provide a unique system for the investigation of biological interactions such as protein-protein and protein-carbohydrate interactions. However, it is still a challenge to prepare the BNPs-based core-shell structures. Herein, we describe (i) co-assembly method and (ii) template synthesis method in the development of polymer-BNPs core-shell structures. These two methods can be divided into three different systems. In system A, different polymers including poly(2-vinylpyridine) (P2VP), poly(4-vinylpyridine) (P4VP) and poly(ε-caprolactone)-block-poly(2-vinylpyridine) (PCL-b-P2VP) can form a raspberry-like structure with BNPs. In system B, polystyrene (PS) spheres end capped with free amine and BNPs can form a core-shell structure. In System C, layer-by-layer (LBL) method is used to prepare positive charged PS particles, which can be used as a template to form the core-shell structures with BNPs. These two methods may open a new way for preparing novel protein-based functional materials for potential applications in the biomedical field. © 2010 Science in China Press and Springer Berlin Heidelberg.