We have engineered an optical nanoconstruct composed of genome-depleted brome mosaic virus doped with indocyanine green (ICG), an FDA-approved near-infrared (NIR) chromophore. Constructs are highly monodispersed with standard deviation of ±3.8 nm from a mean diameter of 24.3 nm. They are physically stable and exhibit a high degree of optical stability at physiological temperature (37 °C). Using human bronchial epithelial cells, we demonstrate the effectiveness of the constructs for intracellular optical imaging in vitro, with greater than 90% cell viability after 3 h of incubation. These constructs may serve as a potentially nontoxic and multifunctional nanoplatform for site-specific deep-tissue optical imaging, and therapy of disease.