An assembly and an associated method for collecting a sample of material desired to be characterized with diagnostic equipment includes or utilizes an elongated member having a proximal end with which the assembly is manipulated by a user and a distal end. In addition, a collection tip which is capable of being placed into contact with the material to be characterized is supported upon the distal end. The collection tip includes a body of chemically-inert porous material for binding a sample of material when the tip is placed into contact with the material and thereby holds the sample of material for subsequent introduction to the diagnostic equipment.
This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to UT-Battelle, LLC, and the Government has certain rights to the invention.