Nanosize structures activated by near-infrared (NIR) photoexcitation can provide an optical platform for the image-guided removal of small tumor nodules. We have engineered nanoparticles derived from erythrocytes that can be doped with NIR fluorophore indocyanine green (ICG). We refer to these constructs as NIR erythrocyte-derived transducers (NETs). The objective of this study was to determine if ICG-bound albumin (IbA), as the doping material, could enhance the fluorescence emission of NETs, and evaluate the capability of these nanoprobes in imaging cancer cells. Erythrocytes were isolated from bovine whole blood and depleted of hemoglobin to form erythrocyte ghosts (EGs). EGs were then extruded through nanosize porous membranes in the presence of 10-100 μm ICG or Iba (1:1 molar ratio) to form ICG- or IbA-doped NETs. The resulting nanosize constructs were characterized for their diameters, zeta-potentials, absorption, and fluorescence emission spectra. We used fluorescence microscopic imaging to evaluate the capability of the constructs in imaging SKOV3 ovarian cancer cells. Based on dynamic light-scattering measurements, ICG- and IbA-doped NETs had similar diameter distributions (Z-average diameter of 236 and 238 nm, respectively) in phosphate-buffered saline supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum, which remained nearly constant over the course of 2 h at 37 °C. Despite a much-lower loading efficiency of IbA (∼0.7-8%) as compared to ICG (10-45%), the integrated normalized fluorescence emission of IbA-NETs was 2- to 6-fold higher than ICG-doped NETs. IbA-NETs also demonstrated an enhanced capability in fluorescence imaging of SKOV3 ovarian cancer cells, and can serve as potentially effective nanoprobes for the fluorescence imaging of cancerous cells. © 2018 American Chemical Society.