Daniel Navajas, Ph.D.


Professor of Physiology, Unit of Biophysics and Bioengineering, Department of Physiological Sciences I, School of Medicine, University of Barcelona.


Group Leader, Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC).


Academic Director, Degree in Biomedical Engineering, University of Barcelona.


* dnavajas@ub.edu

( +(34) 934024515




Lung function is primarily determined by the mechanical properties of airways and parenchymal tissues. Mechanical dysfunction of the lung is associated with prevalent respiratory diseases. The research of my group is aimed at furthering our understanding of the mechanical behavior of the respiratory system to improve the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory diseases. We use basic and translational approaches in a multidisciplinary framework involving close cooperation with clinical research groups working in the field of respiratory medicine. We study respiratory mechanics with a multiscale approach extending from organ to molecule.


At the organ level, we study the mechanical properties of the airways and lung tissues and the alterations of the mechanical function associated with respiratory diseases. Our work is mainly focused on mechanics of the upper airway in sleep apnea syndrome, and on mechanical ventilation in acute and chronic respiratory failure.


At the cellular and molecular level, we develop and apply cutting edge nanotechnologies and advanced biophysical techniques to probe the mechanical behavior of the cells and their mechanical interactions with the microenvironment. We study the mechanical properties of the cell and its response to inflammation and mechanical stresses. We develop new approaches to differentiate stem cells using mechanical stimuli. Our research also focuses on the study of the biophysical mechanisms regulating the adhesion and vascular transmigration of leukocytes.




quadrat groc jpg.jpg

Mapping cell contraction with traction microscopy.

Control of cell shape by surface micro-patterning. Image obtained with atomic

force microscopy.




Atomic Force Microscopy

Magnetic Tweezers

Cell stretching

Surface Micro/Nano-patterning

Live cell fluorescence microscopy

Traction Microscopy

Cell culture

Respiratory mechanics techniques

Animal models





Degree in Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Barcelona.

Degree in Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine, University of Barcelona.

Master in Biomedical Engineering, University of Barcelona – Polytechnic University of Catalonia.





Peer reviewed publications > 150

Citations > 8400

H-index = 35



Recent selected publications


Puig F, Fuster G, Adda M, Blanch L, Farre R, Navajas D, Artigas A. Barrier-protective effects of activated protein C in human alveolar epithelial cells. PloS one. 2013; 8(2):e56965-e.


Penuelas O, Melo E, Sanchez C, Sanchez I, Quinn K, Ferruelo A, Perez-Vizcaino F, Esteban A, Navajas D, Nin N, Lorente JA, Farré R. Antioxidant effect of human adult adipose-derived stromal stem cells in alveolar epithelial cells undergoing stretch. Respiratory physiology & neurobiology. 2013; 188(1):1-8.


Mari-Buye N, Luque T, Navajas D, Semino CE. Development of a Three-Dimensional Bone-Like Construct in a Soft Self-Assembling Peptide Matrix. Tissue Engineering Part A. 2013; 19(7-8):870-81.


Luque T, Melo E, Garreta E, Cortiella J, Nichols J, Farre R, Navajas D. Local micromechanical properties of decellularized lung scaffolds measured with atomic force microscopy. Acta Biomaterialia. 2013; 9(6):6852-9.


Isetta V, Lopez-Agustina C, Lopez-Bernal E, Amat M, Vila M, Valls C, Navajas D, Farré R. Cost-Effectiveness of a New Internet-Based Monitoring Tool for Neonatal Post-Discharge Home Care. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2013; 15(2).


Farre R, Navajas D, Montserrat JM. Is There an Optimal Nasal Pressure for Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea-And If So, What Is It? SLEEP 2013; 36:535-545.


Almendros I, Montserrat JM, Torres M, Dalmases M, Cabanas ML, Campos-Rodriguez F, Navajas D, Farre R. Intermittent hypoxia increases melanoma metastasis to the lung in a mouse model of sleep apnea. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology. 2013; 186(3):303-7.


Waters CM, Roan E, Navajas D. Mechanobiology in Lung Epithelial Cells: Measurements, Perturbations, and Responses. Comprehensive Physiology. 2012; 2(1):1-29.


Tsapikouni T, Garreta E, Melo E, Navajas D, Farre R. A bioreactor for subjecting cultured cells to fast-rate intermittent hypoxia. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology. 2012; 182(1):47-52.


Guaman AV, Carreras A, Calvo D, Agudo I, Navajas D, Pardo A, Marco S, Farre R. Rapid detection of sepsis in rats through volatile organic compounds in breath. Journal of Chromatography B-Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences. 2012; 881-82:76-82.


Govoni L, Dellaca RL, Penuelas O, Bellani G, Artigas A, Ferrer M, Navajas D, Pedotti A, Farre R. Actual performance of mechanical ventilators in ICU: a multicentric quality control study. Medical devices. 2012; 5:111-9.


Chimenti L, Luque T, Bonsignore MR, Ramirez J, Navajas D, Farre R. Pre-treatment with mesenchymal stem cells reduces ventilator-induced lung injury. European Respiratory Journal. 2012; 40(4):939-48.


Almendros I, Montserrat JM, Torres M, Bonsignore MR, Chimenti L, Navajas D, Farre R. Obesity and intermittent hypoxia increase tumor growth in a mouse model of sleep apnea. Sleep Medicine. 2012; 13(10):1254-60.


Almendros I, Montserrat JM, Ramirez J, Torres M, Duran-Cantolla J, Navajas D, et al. Intermittent hypoxia enhances cancer progression in a mouse model of sleep apnoea. European Respiratory Journal. 2012; 39(1):215-7.


Almendros I, Carreras A, Montserrat JM, Gozal D, Navajas D, Farre R. Potential role of adult stem cells in obstructive sleep apnea. Frontiers in neurology. 2012; 3:112.


Acerbi I, Luque T, Gimenez A, Puig M, Reguart N, Farre R, Navajas D, Alcaraz J. Integrin-specific mechanoresponses to compression and extension probed by cylindrical flat-ended AFM tips in lung cells. PloS one. 2012; 7(2):e32261-e.


Almendros I, Farre R, Torres M, Bonsignore MR, Dalmases M, Ramirez J, Navajas D, Montserrat JM. Early and mid-term effects of obstructive apneas in myocardial injury and inflammation. Sleep Medicine. 2011; 12(10):1037-40.


Almendros I, Farre R, Planas AM, Torres M, Bonsignore MR, Navajas D, Montserrat JM. Tissue Oxygenation in Brain, Muscle, and Fat in a Rat Model of Sleep Apnea: Differential Effect of Obstructive Apneas and Intermittent Hypoxia. Sleep 34:1127-1133, 2011.


Cagido Viviane Ramos; Zin Walter Araujo; Ramirez Jose; et al. Alternating ventilation in a rat model of increased abdominal pressure.  Respir Physiol Neurobiol 175:310-315, 2011.


Dellaca R, Montserrat JM, Govoni L, Pedotti A, Navajas D, Farre, R.  Telemetric CPAP titration at home in patients with sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome. Sleep Med 12:153-157, 2011.


Carreras A, Wang Y, Gozal D, Montserrat JM, Navajas D, Farré R.  Non-invasive system for applying airway obstructions to model obstructive sleep apnea in mice.  Respir Physiol Neurobiol 175:164-168, 2011.


Almendros I, Montserrat JM, Torres M, González C, Navajas D, Farre R. Changes in oxygen partial pressure of brain tissue in an animal model of obstructive apnea. Resp Res 11:3, 2010.


Guerrero A, Embid C, Farré R, Navajas D, Masa JF, Duran J, Montserrat JM. Sleep breathing flow characteristics as a sign for the detection of wakefulness in patients with sleep apnea. Respiration 80:495-499, 2010.


Iranzo A, Isetta V, Molinuevo JL, Serradell M, Navajas D, Farre R, Santamaria J.  Electroencephalographic slowing heralds mild cognitive impairment in idiophatic REM sleep behavior disorder. Sleep Med 11:534-539, 2010.


Carreras A, Almendros I, Montserrat JM, Navajas D, Farré, R.  Mesenchymal stem cells reduce inflammation in a rat model of obstructive sleep apnea. Respir Physiol Neurobiol 172:210-212, 2010.


Carreras A, Rojas M, Tsapikouni T, Montserrat JM, Navajas D, Farré R. Obstructive apneas induce early activation of mesenchymal stem cells and enhancement of endothelial wound healing. Resp Res 11: 91, 2010.


Puig F, Gavara N, Sunyer R, Farré R, Navajas D. Stiffening and contraction induced by dexamethasone in alveolar epithelial cells. Exp Mech 49:47-55, 2009.


Nacher M, Farré R, Montserrat JM, Torres M, Navajas D, Bulbena O, Serrano-Mollar A. Biological consequences of oxygen desaturation and respiratory effort in an acute animal model of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Sleep Med 10:892-897, 2009.


Carreras A, Almendros I, Acerbi A, Montserrat JM, Navajas D, Farré R. Obstructive apneas induce early release of mesenchymal stem cells into circulating blood. Sleep 32:117-119, 2009.


Farré R, Navajas D. Quality control: A necessary – but sometimes overlooked – tool for improving respiratory medicine. Eur Respir J 33:722–723, 2009.


Sunyer R, Ritort F, Farré R, Navajas D. Thermal activation and ATP dependence of the cytoskeleton remodeling dynamics. Phys Rev E. 79:051920, 2009.


Sunyer R, Trepat X, Fredberg JJ, Farré R, Navajas D, Temperature dependence of cell mechanics measured by atomic force microscopy. Phys Biol 6:025009, 2009.


Sellares J,  Acerbi I, Loureiro H, Dellaca RL, Ferrer M, Torres A, Navajas D, Farré R. Respiratory impedance during weaning from mechanical ventilation in a mixed population of critically ill patients. Brit J Anaesth, 103: 828-832, 2009.


Almendros I, Acerbi I, Vilaseca I, Montserrat JM, Navajas D, Farré R. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) induces early nasal inflammation. Sleep 31:127-131, 2008.


Pellegrino R, Brusasco V, Viegi G, Crapo RO, Burgos F, Casaburi R, Coates A, van der Grinten CP, Gustafsson P, Hankinson J, Jensen R, Johnson DC, Macintyre N, McKay R, Miller MR, Navajas D, Pedersen OF, Wanger J. Definition of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Evidence or opinion based? Eur Respir J 31:681-682, 2008.


Roca-Cusachs P, Alcaraz J, Sunyer R, Samitier J, Farré R, Navajas D. Micropatterning of single endothelial cell shape reveals a tight coupling between nuclear volume in G1 and proliferation. Biophys J  94:4984–4995, 2008.


Almendros I, Carreras A, Ramirez J, Montserrat JM, Navajas D, Farré R. Upper airway collapse and reopening induced inflammation in a sleep apnea model. Eur Respir J 32:399–404, 2008.


Gavara N, Roca-Cusachs P, Sunyer R, Farré R, Navajas D. Mapping cell-matrix stresses during stretch reveals inelastic reorganization of the cytoskeleton. Biophys J  95:464–471, 2008.


Farre R, Montserrat JM, Navajas D. Morbidity due to obstructive sleep apnea: insights from animal models. Curr Opin Pulm Med 14:530–536, 2008.


Farre R, Montserrat JM, Navajas D. Assessment upper airway mechanics during sleep. Respir Physiol Neurobiol 163:74-81, 2008.


Almendros I, Gutierrez PT, Closa D, Navajas D, Farre R. One-lung overventilation does not induce inflammation in the normally ventilated contralateral lung. Respir Physiol Neurobiol 162:100-102, 2008.

Farré R, Nácher M, Serrano-Mollar A, Gáldiz JB, Alvarez FJ, Navajas D, Montserrat JM. Rat model of chronic recurrent airway obstructions to study the sleep apnea syndrome. Sleep 30:930-933, 2007.

Valencia M, Ferrer M, Farré R, Navajas D, Badia JR, Nicolas JM, Torres A. Automatic control of tracheal tube cuff pressure in ventilated patients in semirecumbent position. A randomized trial. Crit Care Med 35:1543-1549, 2007.

Almendros I, Acerbi I, Puig F, Montserrat JM, Navajas D, Farré R. Upper airway inflammation triggered by vibration in a rat model of snoring. Sleep 30: 225-227, 2007.

Rico F, Roca-Cusachs P, Sunyer R, Farré R, Navajas D. Cell dynamic adhesion and elastic properties probed with cylindrical atomic force microscopy cantilever tips. J Mol Recognit, 20:459466, 2007.

Trepat X, Deng L, An SS, Navajas D, Tschumperlin DJ, Gerthoffer WT, Butler JP, Fredberg JJ. Universal physical responses to stretch in the living cell. Nature, 447:592-595, 2007.

Rigau J, Montserrat JM, Wöhrle H, Plattner D, Schwaibold M, Navajas D, Farré R. Bench model to simulate upper airway obstruction for analyzing automatic continuous positive airway pressure devices. Chest 130:350-361, 2006.

Calero G, Farre R, Ballester E, Hernandez L, Navajas D, Montserrat Canal JM.  Physiological consequences of prolonged periods of flow limitation in patients with sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome. Respir Med 100:813-817, 2006.

Farre R, Navajas D, Prats E, Marti S, Guell R, Montserrat JM, Tebe C, Escarrabill J.  Performance of mechanical ventilators at the patient's home: a multicentre quality control study. Thorax 61:400-404, 2006.

Dellaca RL, Rotger M, Aliverti A, Navajas D, Pedotti A, Farre R. Non-invasive detection of expiratory flow limitation in COPD patients during nasal CPAP. Eur Respir J 27:983-991, 2006.

Roca-Cusachs P, Almendros I, Sunyer R, Gavara N, Farré, Navajas D. Rheology of passive and adhesion-activated neutrophils probed by Atomic Force Microscopy. Biophys J 91:3508-3518, 2006.

Gavara N, Sunyer R, Roca-Cusachs P, Farre R, Rotger M, Navajas D. Thrombin-induced contraction in alveolar epithelial cells probed by traction microscopy. J Appl Physiol 101:512-520, 2006.

Trepat X, Puig F, Gavara N, Fredberg JJ, Farre R, Navajas D. Effect of stretch on structural integrity and micromechanics of human alveolar epithelial cell monolayers exposed to thrombin. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 290:L1104-L1110, 2006.

Pellegrino R, Viegi G, Brusasco V, Crapo RO, Burgos F, Casaburi R, Coates A, van der Grinten CP, Gustafsson P, Hankinson J, Jensen R, Johnson DC, MacIntyre N, McKay R, Miller MR, Navajas D, Pedersen OF, Wanger J. Interpretative strategies for lung function tests. Eur Respir J 26:948-968, 2005.

Montserrat JM, Rigau J, Navajas D, Ballester E, Farre R. Effect of using the flow or the volume signals on the measurement of nonapneic respiratory events. Sleep 28: 990-992, 2005.

Macintyre N, Crapo RO, Viegi G, Johnson DC, van der Grinten CP, Brusasco V, Burgos F, Casaburi R, Coates A, Enright P, Gustafsson P, Hankinson J, Jensen R, McKay R, Miller MR, Navajas D, Pedersen OF, Pellegrino R, Wanger J.  Standardisation of the single-breath determination of carbon monoxide uptake in the lung. Eur Respir J 26:720-735, 2005.

Wanger J, Clausen JL, Coates A, Pedersen OF, Brusasco V, Burgos F, Casaburi R, Crapo R, Enright P, van der Grinten CP, Gustafsson P, Hankinson J, Jensen R, Johnson D, Macintyre N, McKay R, Miller MR, Navajas D, Pellegrino R, Viegi G. Standardisation of the measurement of lung volumes. Eur Respir J 26:511-522, 2005.

Miller MR, Hankinson J, Brusasco V, Burgos F, Casaburi R, Coates A, Crapo R, Enright P, van der Grinten CP, Gustafsson P, Jensen R, Johnson DC, MacIntyre N, McKay R, Navajas D, Pedersen OF, Pellegrino R, Viegi G, Wanger J. Standardisation of spirometry. Eur Respir J 26: 319-338, 2005.

Miller MR, Crapo R, Hankinson J, Brusasco V, Burgos F, Casaburi R, Coates A, Enright P, van der Grinten CP, Gustafsson P, Jensen R, Johnson DC, MacIntyre N, McKay R, Navajas D, Pedersen OF, Pellegrino R, Viegi G, Wanger J; ATS/ERS Task Force. General considerations for lung function testing. Eur Respir J 26:153-161, 2005.

Farre R, Granell S, Rotger M, Serrano-Mollar A, Closa D, Navajas D.  Animal model of unilateral ventilator-induced lung injury. Intensive Care Med 31:487-490, 2005.

Puig, F, F Rico, I Almendros, JM Montserrat, D Navajas, R Farré. Vibration Enhances Interleukin-8 Release In A Cell Model Of Snoring-Induced Airway Inflammation. Sleep 28:1312-1316, 2005.

Rico F, Roca-Cusachs, N Gavara, R Farré, M Rotger, D Navajas. Probing Mechanical Properties of Living Cells by Atomic Force Microscopy with Blunted Pyramidal Cantilever Tips. Phys Rev E 72:021914, 2005.

Roca-Cusachs P, Rico F, Martínez E, Toset J, Farré R, Navajas D. Stability of Microfabricated High Aspect Ratio Structures in Poly(dimethylsiloxane). Langmuir 21:5542-5548, 2005.

Rico, F, J Alcaraz, JJ Fredberg, D Navajas. Nanomechanics of Lung Epithelial Cells. Int J Nanotechnology 2:180194, 2005.

Trepat, X, M Grabulosa, L Buscemi, F Rico, R Farré, D Navajas. Thrombin and histamine induce stiffening of alveolar epithelial cells. J Appl Physiol 98:1567-1574, 2005.

Farre R, Montserrat JM, Navajas D. Noninvasive monitoring of respiratory mechanics during sleep. Eur Respir J 24:1052-1060, 2004.

Granell S, Serrano-Mollar A, Folch-Puy E, Navajas D, Farre R, Bulbena O, Closa D. Oxygen in the alveolar airspace mediates lung inflammation in acute pancreatitis. Free Radic Biol & Med 37:1640-1647, 2004.

Rigau J, Farré R, Trepat X, Shusterman D, Navajas D. Oscillometric assessment of airway obstruction in vocal cord dysfunction. A model study. J Biomech 37:37-43, 2004.

Farré R, Navajas D. Assessment of expiratory flow limitation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a new approach. Eur Respir J 23:187-188, 2004.

Trepat X, Grabulosa M, Puig F, Maksym GN, Navajas D, Farre R. Viscoelasticity of human alveolar epithelial cells subjected to stretch. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 287:L1025-34, 2004.

Puig-de-Morales M, Millet E, Fabry B, Navajas D, Wang N, Butler JP, Fredberg JJ. Cytoskeletal mechanics in the adherent human airway smooth muscle cell: probe specificity and scaling of protein-protein dynamics.  Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 287:C643-C654, 2004.

Rigau J, Burgos F, Hernández C, Roca J, Navajas D, Farré R. Unsupervised self-testing of airway obstruction by forced oscillation at the patients' home. Eur Respir J 22:668-671, 2003.

Farré R, Rigau J, Montserrat JM, Buscemi L, Ballester E, Navajas D. Static and dynamic upper airway obstruction in sleep apnea. Role of the breathing gas properties. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 168:659-663, 2003.

Farré R, Rotger M, Montserrat JM, Calero G, Navajas D. Collapsible upper airway segment to study the obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome in rats. Respir Physiol Neurobiol 136:199-209, 2003.

Farré R, Giro E, Casolive V, Navajas D, Escarrabill J. Quality control of mechanical ventilation at the patient's home. Intensive Care Med 29: 484-486, 2003.

Fabry B, Maksym GN, Butler JP, Glogauer M, Navajas D, Taback NA, Millet EJ, Fredberg JJ. Time-scale and other invariants of integrative mechanical behavior in living cells. Phys Rev E 68:041914, 2003.

Alcaraz J, Buscemi L, Grabulosa M, Trepat X, Fabry B, Farré R, Navajas D. Microrheology of human lung epithelial cells measured by Atomic Force Microscopy. Biophys J 84: 2071-79, 2003.