A micro-mechanical system for medical procedures is constructed in the basic form of a catheter having a distal end for insertion into and manipulation within a body and a near 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 near end for external coupling of laser light energy. A microgripper is attached to the distal end of the catheter and providing for the gripping or releasing of an object within the body. A laser-light-to-mechanical-power converter is connected to receive laser light from the distal end of the fiberoptic cable and connected to mechanically actuate the microgripper.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.