Photoacoustic microscopy (PAM) is an emerging imaging diagnostic technique for various diseases. Coupled with contrast agents, photoacoustic (PA) imaging yields additional information to facilitate an accurate diagnosis. While many organic-based contrast agents, notably those of cyanine dyes, nanoparticles, polyhydroxy-fullerene and carbon nanotubes, have become available, the use of transition metal as contrast agent is scant. Here, for the first time, we report a platinum II-based biodegradable polymer for PA imaging that is capable of effective cellular internalization with very low cytotoxicity. The experiment results show great promise as a novel photoacoustic contrast agent as its detectable PA signal was observed both in cell imaging and in vivo rat cerebral vascular imaging via designed PAM. This work exemplifies the incorporation of transition metal complex with polymeric nanoparticles, further expanding the field of the ability of PA imaging.