Access and Booking

Access and booking process.
Starting a Project

Any planned EM work has to be agreed by the Laboratory director Eija Jokitalo prior to its start based on a submitted project sheet (EMBI Project Request Form can be found in the Open Iris reservation system under the Services tab; check Wiki pages for detailed instructions) including a description or summarized results of on-going work (1 page maximum) and is annually re-evaluated. 

The following points are addressed:

  • Is the use of EM important or indispensable to solve the problem?
  • Are there resources available for the work?
  • Is the project scientifically justified?
  • A clear risk assessment, especially of biohazards has to be made
  • Is this project done on the basis of joint use of instruments and paid services or as a scientific collaboration?

Our pricing follows the basic principles of Biocenter Finland supported technology services. We are providing services to all academic users at the same price, and prices are calculated to cover direct costs of the service, aiming at cost neutrality. For non-academic users, services are provided with market prices. If services are provided as part of scientific collaboration, the costs are distributed so that the collaborator will cover the instrument fees and consumables, and technical time is not charged.

Fees depend on the equipment used, and are divided to two categories:

  • For academic research
  • For commercial customers (depending on free capacities)

In order to guarantee optimal performance of delicate instruments, all new users are trained on site at no extra cost in projects that are estimated to use minimum of 10 hours of microscopy time. For shorter projects, chargeable operator services will be provided.

Advanced EM-techniques, such as correlated light electron microscopy, various immunoEM techniques, high pressure freezing followed by freeze substitution, electron tomography and 3D serial block face imaging on SEM are mainly offered through research collaboration, where we will provide supervision in specimen preparation, analysis of specimens and interpretation of results for students that come to perform their EM projects in our laboratory.

Publications presenting EM-work carried out with the help of our staff and using our instruments should be mentioned as acknowledgement (for example, with the following standard phrase: 

"we thank Electron Microscopy Unit of the Institute of Biotechnology,

University of Helsinki for providing laboratory facilities."

Please do not forget to send us a pdf file of every publication mentioning the EM-unit!

Bringing Specimens

For the best possible results ensure the following:

  • Contact EMBI staff ( prior fixation the specimens to make sure that the proper fixatives and conditions are used  
  • Set the date for sample embedding/preparation with EMBI staff ( preferably one week in advance. Storing of the fixed sample is not recommended, bring them to EMBI for processing as soon as possible.
  • When bringing the specimens provide EMBI staff with the filled sample sheet (see the link below)
Microscope Reservation

Starting from 1st of January, 2020 the microscope reservations are done using Open IRIS system.

For details please follow to the Microscope reservation page

Price List

Price List for academic national groups and commercial customers (0% VAT) 



Academic national groups Commercial customers
Use of transmission electron microscopes:    
     Jeol JEM-1400 TEM 40.00 /h 240.00 /h
     Hitachi HT7800 TEM 40.00 /h 240.00 /h
Use of scanning electron microscope:    
     FEI Quanta 250 FEG-SEM 40.00 /h 240.00 /h
     SB-EM, 3View + Quanta 250 FEG-SEM  380.00 /run (max 18h)  
     Zeiss Crossbeam 550 FEG-SEM 54.00 /h 324.00 /h
     FIB-SEM volumeEM + Zeiss XB550 500.00 /run (max 18h)  
Microscope operator services 39.00 /h 180.00 /h

Training for the use of microscopes is not charged for projects using at least 10 microscopy hours (only the reservation slot is charged).
For shorter projects, operator services are charged in addition to the microscope usage hours.

Specimen Preparation

Academic national groups Commercial customers
Specimen embedding:    

     Standard protocols, 3 blocks /s

     Flat embedding, 2 coverslips /s

34.00 /sample

28.00 /sample

104.00 /sample

104.00 /sample

Volume EM specimens:

    Enhanced contrast protocol, 3 blocks/s

    Post-processing (incl. pins and Pt-coating)


66.00 /sample     

44.00 /sample

 Plastic sectioning:    

      Ultrathin sections for TEM (3 grids/sample + post-staining)

     Semi-thick sections for LM 

24.00 /sample            

20.00 /sample

96.00 /sample        

96.00 /sample

Cryo-sectioning (including up to 10 grids) 75.00 /sample 300.00 /sample
Processing of SEM samples 28.00 /sample 80.00 /sample
High pressure freezing (including specimen carriers) 80.00 /sample 320.00 + technical time
Freeze substitution 22.00 /sample 66.00 /sample
Critical point drying 20.00 /run 100.00 /run
Use of platinum sputter 14.00 /run 63.00 /run
Use of carbon coater 10.00 /run 45.00 /run
Use of glow discharge unit 3.30 /run 20.00 /run
Technical time 28.00 /h 109.00 /h

Prices for specimen preparation for collaborative projects are negotiable on a case-by-case basis.


SEM Specimen stub (including tape and glue) 2.60
Formaldehyde (EMS, 16 %, 10 ml) 7.00
Glutaraldehyde (50 %, 1 ml) 5.00
TEM grid box 36.00
SEM Specimen box 15.00
Cryo Specimen stub 2.00
Single slot Cu-grid  0.90
Ni-and Cu-grid, thin bar, carbon coated (glow discharged) 1.40
Anti-mouse and anti-rabbit gold conjugates (10 µl) 16.00
Nano-gold conjugated anti-mouse or anti rabbit (10 µl) 16.00
Silver enhancement kit (1 ml) 26.00
Neutral UA 2 % (1 ml) 5.00
Methyl cellulose / UA (5 ml) 5.50
Annual Resubmission of the Project

Each project is a subject for annual re-evaluation!

In order to continue using microscopes please ask for project extension from OpenIRIS reservation system (Dashboard->Inbox). The extension may only be asked by the submitter of the original project; members of the project do not have that possibility. Before asking for the extension, please make sure that the WBS code (or any other billing details) are still valid for the extension peroid!