Abstract The bovine serum albumin nanoparticles (BSANPs) were prepared by a coacervation method and chemical cross-linking with glutaraldehyde. Furthermore, the BSANPs were reacted with the activated folic acid to conjugate folate via amino groups of the BSANPs, to improve their intracellular uptake to target cells. The nanoparticles were apparently spherical with diameters less than 150 nm and their average diameter was 70 nm by a transmission electron microscope (TEM) and a laser light scattering particle analyzer, respectively. An extent of folate conjugation with the BSANPs was 169 μmol/g BSA by spectrophotometric analysis. Cell uptake studies were carried out in SKOV3 cells (human ovarian cancer cell line) using fluorescein isothiocyanate labeled nanoparticles. The extent of BSANPs taken up by the cells was measured with a fluorescence spectrophotometer. The nanoparticles were taken up to the cells and levels of binding and uptake were increased with the time of incubation until 4 h. The levels of folate-conjugated BSANPs were higher than those of BSANPs and saturable. The association of folate-conjugated BSANPs to SKOV3 cells was inhibited by an excess amount of folic acid, suggesting that the binding and/or uptake were mediated by the folate receptor. These results implied that the folate-conjugated BSANPs might be useful as a drug carrier system to deliver drugs into the cells expressing folate receptor.