The antineoplastic drug Carboplatin (CBDCA) was encapsulated in human erythrocytes by means of transient hypotonic hemolysis, followed by isotonic resealing. Up to 5 mg/ml of packed cells could be entrapped, with about 70% cell recovery. In vitro incubation of the CBDCA-loaded erythrocytes in autologous plasma caused a very slow release of the drug from the cells (12% approximately in 3 h). The encapsulation conditions, performed at a low hematocrit, in order to obtain high amounts of the drug inside the carriers, impaired the metabolic properties of the loaded erythrocytes significantly. In particular, an almost complete disappearance of GSH was observed. Analysis of the intraerythrocytic metabolism of CBDCA showed that, in spite of its relatively high stability in aqueous solutions, in hemolysates and in the loaded erythrocytes a significant percentage of CBDCA is rapidly converted to other species that still retain an antiproliferative activity in vitro. This fast conversion could be extensively inhibited by previous conversion of oxyhemoglobin to methemoglobin or carbomonoxyhemoglobin, suggesting an important role of heme iron in this process. Encapsulation of CBDCA in selectively targeted human erythrocytes may represent a therapeutic strategy for increasing the drug concentration in specific organs, notably liver.