Abstract A series of adipic acid dihydrazide (ADH)-modified hyaluronic acid (HA-ADH) compounds were synthesized and conjugated with QDots (QDots-HA conjugates) to assess the effects of the molecular weight (MW) and extent of chemical modification of HA on its biodistribution. Their physicochemical structures were confirmed by complementary application of GPC, 1H NMR, FTIR, and UV–vis spectroscopic methods. In vivo imaging of QDots-HA conjugates after oral administration was analyzed to investigate their biodistribution in nude mice. Simultaneously, real-time bioimaging was confirmed by an anatomical analysis to investigate the organ-specific accumulation of conjugates. QDot-HA conjugates with a higher MW of HA or high modification presented relatively slow clearance leading to an extension of the retention time for up to 10 days, whereas those with lower MWs of HA or a low modification extent exhibited quick absorption and elimination after oral administration. Taken together, HA derivatives with suitable MWs and chemical modification extents can be used to design new, more-sophisticated, and intelligent HA-based vehicles for oral delivery with diverse characteristics.