Yelena Lipovetskaya – Cospheric

In 805conversations by Mark Sylvester

I want to make an impact on the world.”Yelena Lipovetskaya, Founder Cospheric

Yelena Lipovetskaya wants to make an impact in the world. And her company Cospheric is doing just that, one microsphere at a time.

Yelena, the CEO of Cospheric, is from Ukraine and works at the micro-level of manufacturing. We’ve had other companies that build things on the how, but not someone who makes a product that is 1/1000 of the width of a human hair. Not quite nano-small, but still very small.

Her company makes these microspheres, essentially tiny balls, in all colors, materials, and properties. Sometimes one of her 6,000 clients will only need one. Yes. One small microsphere.

She started work as a materials scientist at Xerox in the toner division. You know the black powder that spills out of the copier when you change the cartridge. Well, it turns out there’s a lot of science involved in making that product, which she parlayed into an entire business. These microspheres, made of glass and other materials are enabling breakthroughs in a variety of sciences and medicine.

The challenges researchers are trying to solve at the micro-level require high precision, microscopic spheres that can run through various mechanisms, including the human body, to trace any number of potential outcomes. She gives a few examples of what researchers are doing with the spheres that will amaze you when you hear them.

It turns out there’s a massive gap in the market Cospheric fills very nicely from their offices here in the 805. In over nine years of operations, they still don’t have a direct competitor. I asked to get a tour of the facility, but it turns out the process is highly confidential, and they’re very protective. We understand.

We covered a lot of ground on this show, as we have a natural curiosity about all things small, and with the California Nanosystems Institute here at UCSB, have a fascination with conversations related to this new world.