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We developed a bioreactor, an in vitro stem cell expansion device that mimics a desired cell environment to promote stem cell expansion while preserving self-renewal and multipotent properties. We use a three-dimensional (3-D) collagen scaffold with an open-cell interconnected porous network that resembles the desired tissue with a specialized circulation system, including controlled fluid flow, nutrition supply, gas (O2, CO2) concentration and temperature conditions similar to the tissue environment. Currently used for bone applications, the bioreactor technology can be modified for developing other tissue-specific bioreactors, such as for cartilage, muscle and blood vessels.