Profile photo Petra de Graaf

Petra de Graaf

Assistant Professor

Strategic program(s):


Lower urinary tracts symptoms, including urethral diseases, have a major impact on the quality of life. My major goal in research is creating tissue that surgeons can use in urethral reconstruction surgery. I use tissue engineering (TE) as an approach. Ideally, a TE urethra mimics the native urethra, consists of multiple cell layers of different origin, protects the underlying tissue as an efficient barrier from urine, is vascularized and resistant to mechanical forces during surgery. As in many patients undergoing urethral reconstruction surgery, the natural support of the urethra, the corpus spongiosum, is either absent or affected by fibrosis, we aim to integrate this support in our TE graft, providing the natural vascular environment. 

Dr. De Graaf studied chemistry with a master in Biochemistry at Utrecht University (UU). Her PhD was performed at the faculty of biology (UU) in the laboratory of Prof. Arie Verkleij and Dr. Paul van Bergen en Henegouwen on lipid kinases. After a short postdoc in the LUMC Leiden, she returned to Utrecht for an extended postdoc in the lab of Prof. Marc Timmers. Here she introduced microscopy as a tool to study basic transcription regulation. Since 2014 she works as head of regenerative urology in the Regenerative Medicine Center Utrecht, department of Urology.

Recent publications

Expertise Area 2.3 Malte W. Vetterlein, Michel I.A. Wyndaele, Felix Campos-Juanatey, Jakob Klemm, Laetitia M.O. De Kort, Margit Fisch, Petra de Graaf, Tim Brits, Gunter De Win
2024, p.195-203
Review on complications and adverse effects of metallic urinary stents Duje Rako, Petra de Graaf, Federico Soria
Acta Clinica Croatica, 2023, vol. 62, p.114-122
Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine in hypospadias management G. Tsachouridis, Tariq Abbas, L. M.O. De Kort, Petra De Graaf
2023, p.127-136
Extracellular matrix analysis of fibrosis Emma C Linssen, Jeroen Demmers, Christian G M van Dijk, Roos van Dam, Maria Novella Nicese, Caroline Cheng, Laetitia M O de Kort, Petra de Graaf
PLoS ONE, 2023, vol. 18
The rabbit model in preclinical hypospadias research Tariq Abbas, Petra De Graaf, Cristian Pablo Pennisi
2023, p.37-52
Urethral Stents. Indications, Complications and Adverse Effects Petra De Graaf, Daniel Yachia, Federico Soria, Duje Rako
2022, p.31-48

Fellowships & Awards

2018: FURU prize