A medical device is constructed in the basic form of a catheter having a distal end for insertion into and manipulation within a body and a proximal end providing for a user to control the manipulation of the distal end within the body. A fiberoptic cable is disposed within the catheter and having a distal end proximate to the distal end of the catheter and a proximal end for external coupling of laser light energy. A laser-light-to-mechanical-power converter is connected to receive light from the distal end of the fiber optic cable and may include a photo-voltaic cell and an electromechanical motor or a heat-sensitive photo-thermal material. An electronic sensor is connected to receive electrical power from said distal end of the fiberoptic cable and is connected to provide signal information about a particular physical environment and communicated externally through the fiberoptic cable to the proximal end thereof. A mechanical sensor is attached to the distal end of the fiberoptic cable and connected to provide light signal information about a particular physical environment and communicated externally through the fiberoptic cable.
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.