4-Vinyl pyridine was grafted to the surface of the cellulosic membrane Cuprophan, and subsequently alkylated with both C10 and C16 aliphatic chains. Complement activation of heparinized human blood, corrected for anaphylatoxin adhesion, was measured by radioimmunoassay. The surface treatments both yielded substantial reductions in C5a activity, with a lessor reduction in C3a and C4a activity. Alkylation with 10 and 16 carbon chains resulted both in enhancements of albumin adsorption and stability. These enhancements as well as the reductions in complement activation were statistically indistinguishable between the two treatments. The reduction in complement activation was influenced more by adsorption of endogenous albumin and possibly by the vinyl pyridine graft, than the removal of surface active hydroxyl groups from Cuprophan. [on SciFinder (R)]