Controlled and targeted drug delivery is an essential criterion in cancer therapy to reduce the side effects caused by non-specific drug release and toxicity. Targeted chemotherapy, sustained drug release and optical imaging have been achieved using a multifunctional nanocarrier constructed from poly (D, l-lactide-co-glycolide) nanoparticles (PLGA NPs), an anticancer drug paclitaxel (PTX), a fluorescent dye Nile red (NR), magnetic fluid (MF) and aptamers (Apt, AS1411, anti-nucleolin aptamer). The magnetic fluid and paclitaxel loaded fluorescently labeled PLGA NPs (MF-PTX-NR-PLGA NPs) were synthesized by a single-emulsion technique/solvent evaporation method using a chemical cross linker bis (sulfosuccinimidyl) suberate (BS3) to enable binding of aptamer on to the surface of the nanoparticles. Targeting aptamers were then introduced to the particles through the reaction with the cross linker to target the nucleolin receptors over expressed on the cancer cell surface. Specific binding and uptake of the aptamer conjugated magnetic fluid loaded fluorescently tagged PLGA NPs (Apt-MF-NR-PLGA NPs) to the target cancer cells induced by aptamers was observed using confocal microscopy. Cytotoxicity assay conducted in two cell lines (L929 and MCF-7) confirmed that targeted MCF-7 cancer cells were killed while control cells were unharmed. In addition, aptamer mediated delivery resulting in enhanced binding and uptake to the target cancer cells exhibited increased therapeutic effect of the drug. Moreover, these aptamer conjugated magnetic polymer vehicles apart from actively transporting drugs into specifically targeted tumor regions can also be used to induce hyperthermia or for facilitating magnetic guiding of particles to the tumor regions.