More people die from lung cancer each year than any other form of cancer. Over 150,000 lives are lost to the disease each year in the U.S. alone [1]. Early detection is critical in reducing the mortality rate, and despite advances in imaging, biopsy remains the only definitive diagnostic tool. The most common lung biopsy approaches are percutaneous and transoral. Percutaneous biopsy punctures the pleura (the membrane surrounding the lung) in order to reach the suspicious nodule and risks pneumothorax (lung collapse), which is a serious complication and can be deadly for patients with poor baseline lung function. Transoral lung biopsy is preferable due to the fact that the biopsy device never traverses the pleura.

However, current bronchoscopes cannot access the majority of the peripheral lung, due to their large diameter in relation to bronchi diameter. While smaller diameter endoscopes and endoscopelike devices are under development, there will...

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