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Biomedicum Imaging Unit

Faculty of Medicine



Biomedicum Imaging Unit (BIU)



Biocenter Finland



Contact information


5th floor office, room B501a
Tel: +358 2941 25269

1st floor office, room B117a
Tel: +358 2941 25271

Biomedicum Helsinki
PO Box 63 (Haartmaninkatu 8)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki

User Information


You do not need to be a BIU user to get help from us - we provide imaging consultation to everybody, within the limits of our resources. Also, if the BIU does not have suitable equipment for your needs, we may be able to direct you elsewhere.

Choosing an instrument/application

If you are not sure which instrument and/or application to use for your imaging needs, first read the instruments page, and then contact the BIU staff. We are happy to discuss the options available.

BIU Policy

Use of the instruments and fees

All BIU instruments are available for all users. Every user is expected to be familiar with the BIU user policy stated on this page.

All instruments are charged by the hour, the fees are shown here.

User license

All BIU instruments require a user license. This is a one-time fee for each instrument but includes support for the entire user period, e.g. information through mailing list, use of online reservation system, and trouble-shooting without additional charges.


For all BIU instruments, there is a compulsory initial training given by a BIU staff member, which qualifies you for the user license to that instrument. The training takes 2 hours. Users that already have a confocal user license, and who want to start using another confocal, will have a shorter training session of 1 hour. The total fee for the training session is calculated according to the hourly training fee plus a charge for the user license. After the training, you can make reservations for that particular instrument and use the equipment independently.

For Imaging Workstations, attendance in a training session is not mandatory. However, if you would like to have a training, BIU staff will give you a training session for your particular needs.

Contact BIU when you want to have training. You need to bring your own samples to the training session. Also, you should have an user account for university computers. If there is a user guide please read it, and take it with you when you come to the training.

As some of the instruments are heavily booked, we may not be able to give you training right away. You can see current reservations for each instrument in the Scheduler online reservation system.

Additional, customized training is available for all instruments any time. Troubleshooting for all instruments is free of charge.

Microscope lab access rights

During the office hours on regular working days you do not need any extra access rights for the microscopy labs. If you plan to use the microscopes outside office hours please make sure you have the required access rights to the areas where the instruments are located. If you need to access the BIU instruments outside the office hours when the building and/or the appropriate area are locked, please contact us well in advance.


For all instruments maintained by the BIU, the Scheduler online reservation system is used. Even if you are not a registered user of the Scheduler, you can look at the reservations made for each instrument.

BIU reservations web page has a link to Scheduler, as well as instructions on how to create a new user account, and how to make reservations.

Instrument_hours_will_be_billed_according_to_the_reservations_made. Reservations must be cancelled 2 hours prior to the reserved time.

Use of any BIU microscope without a reservation is prohibited. BIU will occasionally check lab entrance and/or computer log in/out times. If they do not match with the time reserved, there will be a double fee for the time the instrument was used without a reservation.

Mailing lists

When you get reservation rights for a certain instrument, you will automatically be added to the mailing list of that instrument. BIU uses the mailing lists for informing the users of any changes in the instrument, breakdowns and other problems etc. If you want your name to be removed from the mailing list, your reservation rights for the corresponding instrument will also be cancelled.

BIU computers

To gain access to the imaging workstations and computers that control the instruments, you must have a valid HY-AD user account.

When you log into a BIU computer, use the same user name and password that you use to access your university mail account. Remember that the Scheduler online reservation system requires a separate user name and password.

BIU reserves the right to monitor computer and software use in all computers that are under BIU administration.

If transfering the data over the network is not possible, you may temporarily store images on our microscope computers while imaging, and then transfer the images into a USB stick or external hard drive. Remember to delete the locally stored data after the transfer. As the instrument computers do not have any back-up system, we do not take any responsibility for possible data loss in case of computer breakdown. BIU holds the right to delete any user files when a hard drive is filling up. We will try to delete the oldest files first and notify the users before deletion.

It is your own responsibility to take care of data transfer and secure storage (storage device with a back-up system or storage of data in at least two physically separate locations).

You can view and analyse your images on our Imaging workstations and there is free software for viewing/analysis which you can install on your own computers.


Please note that if you have used any of the BIU instruments or services for your publication, you are expected to mention BIU in the Acknowledgements and inform BIU about your publication.

Problems and troubleshooting

In case of a problem with any of the instruments, first check the User Guide (if available) for help. If that does not solve the problem, contact BIU staff to inform us about the problem - we will take care of it as soon as possible.

Virus-infected microscope specimens

If you want to image virus-infected specimens, follow the BIU_guidelines_for_handling_virus-infected microscope specimens. Updated February 2015.

Misuse of the instruments

In case the user misuses BIU equipment, her/his user license may be revoked and the repair costs may be charged.

How to contact us

To contact BIU send an . Use this address instead of personal e-mail addresses, since the whole staff reads the mail and we can respond more quickly.

Page updated March 4, 2016

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