The basement membrane of the human umbilical vein was studied by electron microscopy with respect to its ultrastructure, susceptibility to digestion by collagenase or trypsin, and reactivity with human platelets. Electron microscopic examination of this vessel showed a continuous reticulated basement membrane which morphologically resembled those of mammalian capillaries and rabbit heart valves. The vascular endothelium was removed by freezing and thawing, thus uncovering the underlying connective tissue. The vessels were sliced into rings which were incubated with collagenase or trypsin. The basement lamella appeared to be susceptible to digestion by either enzyme. Platelet interaction with exposed vascular basement membrane was studied by rotating frozen-thawed everted and non-everted rings in anticoagulated whole human blood. In heparinized or citrated blood, large aggregates of degranulated platelets adhered to collagenous controls; in contrast, the test rings with exposed basement membrane were partially covered with a monolayer of platelets which appeared to retain discoid or spherical shape and granules. In EDTA-anticoagulated blood, the collagen control rings accumulated a platelet monolayer, whereas little or no adhesion occurred on the basement membrane surface. In this system the basement membrane of the human umbilical vein appears to be a poor platelet reactive surface as compared to collagen.