Devices for performing tissue biopsy on a small scale (microbiopsy). By reducing the size of the biopsy tool and removing only a small amount of tissue or other material in a minimally invasive manner, the risks, costs, injury and patient discomfort associated with traditional biopsy procedures can be reduced. By using micromachining and precision machining capabilities, it is possible to fabricate small biopsy/cutting devices from silicon. These devices can be used in one of four ways 1) intravascularly, 2) extravascularly, 3) by vessel puncture, and 4) externally. Additionally, the devices may be used in precision surgical cutting.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.