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Tissue Therapeutics

Despite advances in recent decades, many difficult-to-treat diseases and conditions—such as metabolic diseases, chronic liver diseases, severe obesity and even neurodegeneration—do not have sufficient treatments.

Because these diseases involve progressive failures across multiple systems, standard approaches that only target a single underlying cause often fail. If unaddressed, these cascading breakdowns can lead to extreme consequences, including severe morbidity, organ failure and even death.

A more sophisticated solution is required. Satellite Bio has been working to develop just such a solution. Introducing Tissue Therapeutics, next-generation regenerative medicine designed to address even the most elusive diseases.


Why it matters

Addressing The Most Elusive Diseases

Ranging from rare disorders affecting a few thousand patients to broad chronic conditions affecting millions, elusive diseases are characterized by either complicated pathophysiology that involves a cascading series of dysfunctions in the body, a difficult-to-treat patient group, or some combination of both challenges.

Given that today’s standard medical approaches do not always rise to this challenge, we must reimagine more comprehensive solutions with the ability to address the multiple critical functions that are impacted by these highly complex diseases.

Unlocking a new approach to assemble functional cells as a therapy that will change the course of some of the most elusive diseases today.

Our Breakthrough

With the flexibility to program functional cells and assemble them into basic tissue structures, our Satellites provide the comprehensive cellular response needed to restore, repair or replace dysfunctional or diseased tissue or organs. These Satellites are at the core of the Satellite Adaptive Tissue (SAT) Platform and form the foundation of a new category of medicine called Tissue Therapeutics.

Because all fully functioning cells evolved to strive to maintain homeostasis, Satellites are inherently able to constantly adapt their function to match the needs of the body and address the individual challenges present in these complicated and multi-dimensional diseases. In the face of dynamic and evolving disease states, the cells in the Satellite can tune their function to address each emerging problem. This ability of the cells to deploy the full array of functionalities as needed for a disease setting allows Tissue Therapeutics to overcome many of the challenges that have previously hindered attempts to truly resolve elusive diseases.


The Significance of the Tissue Seed

The first step in creating a Satellite is to develop the Tissue Seed from a specific combination of highly potent functional cells and support cells, a process we call heterocellular aggregation. Through the research of our founders, we have demonstrated that support cells are critical for the stability and effectiveness of functional cells across many mechanisms of action.

The Power of the Bioengineered Matrix

The Tissue Seeds are then encapsulated in a biomaterial-based matrix to create the Satellite. By controlling size and distribution of Tissue Seeds, we can organize precise structures that support a healthy micro-environment for the cells and allow the Tissue Seeds to function effectively and rapidly once in a patient.

Delivering the Satellite Into the Body

Via minimally invasive surgery, the Satellite is placed in a site within the body. Satellites rapidly promote new blood vessel growth allowing connection to the patient’s own circulation, but operating remotely from the affected tissues. This ability to resolve the underlying function of an organ from a remote — or satellite — location is how Satellites get their name.


These proprietary steps are all designed to ensure the facilitation of engraftment and rapid vascularization that allow for scalable therapeutic activity throughout the body, including beyond the location of the satellite itself.

Building on two decades of research

Tissue Therapeutics as a revolutionary category of regenerative medicine is based on more than two decades of collaborative research in tissue technology, biology and bioengineering. Building on the work of Dr. Robert Langer and others, Satellite Bio’s founders, Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia and Dr. Christopher Chen, along with Dr. Arnav Chhabra, have created the foundational and pivotal science to advance Tissue Therapeutics.


  1. 1999

    Hepatocyte Stabilization

    Drs. Bhatia et al. demonstrated, for the first time, in vitro stabilization of parenchymal cells by means of stromal cell co-culture, as demonstrated by long-term albumin secretion by hepatocytes. 

    Impact: This work from Satellite Bio co-founder, Dr. Bhatia, established that engineering a combination of functional and support cells allows for superior stabilization of cell phenotype compared to previous methods that used a random mixture of cells. The discovery that the interaction between cell types is what is critical provided the foundation for future work to hone heterocellular aggregation, a concept that underlies Satellite Bio’s approach to Tissue Therapeutics. 

  2. 2011

    First In Vivo POC of Ectopic Liver Implants

    Drs. Chen et al. developed the first in vivo mouse model based on the implantation of tissue-engineered human liver, which demonstrated persistence, vascularization, and functional performance for more than three months. 

    Impact: Through a collaborative effort between the labs of co-founders Drs. Bhatia and Chen, this in vivo model in healthy mice achieved the first proof-of-concept for Tissue Therapeutics, demonstrating that remotely placed engineered liver tissues and the host liver can cooperate, promoting persistence and function. This foundational work enabled future research to advance our understanding of this technology and its applications. 

  3. 2013

    Enhanced Engineered Tissue Integration and Function

    Drs. Baranski et al. used an improved pro-vascular methodology in vivo to demonstrate substantially greater hepatic survival and function, as well as host vascular ingrowth. 

    Impact: This research built on the 2011 findings and demonstrated the critical importance of vascularization to optimize the functional impact of Tissue Therapeutics.

  4. 2017

    First Validation in Disease Models of the Liver

    Using enhanced methodologies in mouse models with acute and chronic liver diseases, engineered tissues demonstrated improved vascularization and liver-specific functions. Specifically, tissues containing patterned human primary hepatocytes, endothelial cells, and stromal cells in a degradable hydrogel expanded more than 50-fold over the course of 11 weeks in mice with injured livers. There was a concomitant increase in graft function as indicated by the production of multiple human liver proteins.

    Impact:
    Building on the 2011 work in healthy mice, these preclinical findings demonstrated for the first time that remotely placed engineered tissue – or a Satellite – was a viable approach to treat acute and chronic diseases of the liver. These results, coupled with the significant morbidity and mortality of liver conditions, led Satellite Bio to identify elusive diseases of the liver as an initial opportunity for Tissue Therapeutics.


A Complete History

View our timeline of research

Explore critical milestones from two decades of collaborative research in tissue technology, biology and bioengineering that have lead to Tissue Therapeutics, a revolutionary new category of regenerative medicine.

Learn about our platform

The deliberate design and delivery of Satellite Adaptive Tissues makes Tissue Therapeutics different than other treatment approaches. Learn more about what makes us unique.