The use of ex vivo-derived scaffolds as vascular conduits has shown to be a clinically valid approach to repair or bypass occluded vessels. Implantation of allogeneic tissue grafts requires careful processing to lower immunogenicity and prevent bacterial infection. However, the mechanical/chemical treatments used to prepare biological scaffolds can result in significant alterations to the native structure and surface chemistry, which can affect in vivo performance. Of particular importance for vascular grafts are binding interactions between the implanted biomaterial and host cells from the circulation and adjacent vasculature. Here we present a comparison of four strategies used to decellularize allogeneic human umbilical vein (HUV) scaffolds: ethanol/acetone, sodium chloride, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), or Triton X-100. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that all four techniques achieved removal of native cells from both the lumenal and ablumenal surfaces of HUV grafts. Platelets and promyelocytic HL-60 cells showed preferential binding on the more loosely structured ablumenal surface, although low surface coverage was observed overall by peripheral blood cells. Vascular endothelial cell adhesion was highest on HUV decellularized using ethanol/acetone, and significantly higher than on SDS-processed grafts (p = 0.016). Primary cells showed high viability on the lumenal surface regardless of decellularization technique (over 95% in all cases). These results demonstrate the critical effects of various chemical processing strategies on the adhesive properties of ex vivo-derived vascular grafts. Careful application-specific consideration is warranted when selecting a processing strategy that minimizes innate responses (e.g. thrombosis, inflammation) that are often deleterious to graft survival. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 101A:123–131, 2013.