Histology Core Facility

The Histology Core Facility enables researchers to prepare tissue specimens for paraffin embedding, paraffin sectioning, plastic sectioning, cryosectioning, vibratome sectioning, and histological stains. It also provides technical assistance and training in histological techniques to investigators throughout Viikki and the University of Helsinki.

We are part of the HiLAPS platform, a HiLIFE research infrastructure with unique expertise in histotechnology, digital slide scanning, laboratory animal pathology, and tissue analysis (https://www.helsinki.fi/en/infrastructures/histotechnology-and-laboratory-animal-pathology).

The facility is equipped with 2 cryostat workstations (cryostat, microsope), 6 microtome workstations (microtome, microsope, water bath), 1 vibratome workstation (vibratome, microsope), 2 automated tissue processor machines for paraffin, 1 manual paraffin embedding station, 1 oven for manual paraffin processing, and 2 manual slide staining workstations.

The core is located at the Institute of Biotechnology, in rooms 5026 (tissue processing), 5032a (sectioning), and 5032b (histological staining) of Biocenter 2 building (Viikinkaari 5).

Equipment access
-All available equipments at the facility can be booked using Excel reservation file (one worksheet per room), by indicating both your name AND PI/group name: Histolab_Booking.xlsx

-New users of the facility must participate to a hands-on training session (tissue processing & sectioning) before starting using the equipment. Please contact directly our technician Merja (merja.makinen@helsinki.fi) to arrange a time for a training and/or for services.

List of services and new fees (effective 01/01/2019):

  • Self-service:

-Automatic tissue processing (standard run): 55€ / run
-Automatic tissue processing (long run): 80€ / run
-Automatic tissue processing (additional rack): 20€ / run
-Manual tissue processing (oven): 35€ / run
-Tissue embedding (embedding station): 5€ / hour
-Sectioning (microtome, cryostat, vibratome): 5€ / hour       
-Histological staining of sections: 6€ / use
-Deparaffinization: 5€ / use

  • Service by a technician:

-Paraffin-block sectioning: 45€ / hour                                                                   
-Hands-on training (tissue processing & sectioning): 40€ / hour
-Tissue processing (paraffin embedding station, first rack): 75€ / standard run
-Tissue processing (paraffin embedding station): 100€ / long run
-Automatic tissue processing (additional rack): 20€ / run
-Histological staining of sections: 2€ / slide
-Deparaffinization: 15€ / use

Fees include paraffin, standard disposable blades for sectioning, and chemicals for tissue processing, deparaffinization, and staining.


  • Tissue processing:

-Automated tissue processor Leica ASP300S
-Automated tissue processor Leica ASP200
-Manual paraffin embedding station Tissue-Tek





  • Tissue sectioning:

-Microtome Leica 2035 Jung Biocut
-Microtome Leica Jung RM 2055
-Microtomes Microm HM 355
-Microtomes Microm HM 355 S
-Vibratome Microm HM 650 V
-Cryostat Leica CM3050
-Cryostat Leitz 1720


  • Tissue deparaffinization/staining:

-Manual slide staining sets Tissue-Tek II