Erythrocytes (RBCs) constitute a very interesting class of cells both for their physiological function and for a variety of peculiarities. Due to their exceptionally strong relationship with the environment, the morphology and nanoscale characteristics of these cells can reveal their biochemical status and structural integrity. Among the possible subjects of investigations, the RBCs' ageing is of the utmost importance. This is a fundamental phenomenon that, in physiological conditions, triggers the cell turnover and ensures the blood homeostasis. With these premises, in recent years, we have presented an atomic force microscopy-based methodology to characterize the patterns of RBC ageing from the morphological point of view. In the present work, we used an ageing protocol more similar to the physiological conditions and we used differential scanning calorimetry and atomic force microscopy to probe the cross correlation between important structural and functional proteins. We also assessed the role played by fundamental structural and membrane proteins in the development of the most relevant morphological intermediates observed along the ageing. Furthermore, we coupled the morphological ageing patterns to the (bio)chemical alterations detected by Raman spectroscopy. This allowed identifying the chronology of the ageing morphologies and the metabolic pathways most involved in their development. As a whole, the present study provides the base to correlate specific molecular alterations to the development of structural anomalies, and these latter to the functional status of blood cells. Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.