João Vilaça

     João L. Vilaça graduated in Industrial Electronics and Computers at University of Minho, Portugal in 2004. In 2008, he obtained the PhD degree in Industrial Electronics from the University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal. During his PhD thesis, he worked on develop of medical devices for automatic modelling/bending of personalised surgical prosthesis, and he founded the company iSurgical3D – Spin-off. Besides the development of new medical devices for personalised surgical prosthesis, he is currently focused on the development of new human-machine interfaces based on natural user interfaces, and, robotic guided surgery for minimal invasive surgeries. João L. Vilaça is presently head of the beSurg Research Group, member of ICVS/3B’s Associated Laboratory PT, and, Director of Electronics and Computer Engineering Degrees at Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave, Portugal.

Personal Information

Name: João Luís Araújo Martins Vilaça
E-mail: jvilaca at


2008- PhD  in Electronics and Computer Engineering at University of Minho.
2004- Degree in Electronics and Computer Engineering from the University of Minho.


  • 2014 - FCT Exploratory Project EXPL/BBB-BMD/2146/2013: “Digital Impression System for Dental Prosthesis”;
  • 2014 - Towards Smarter Cardiac Interventional Navigation using MRI-derived Personalized Models for RT 3D Ultrasound Interpretation (UMinho);
  • 2013/2014 – QUID Box - Quick User Interface Device;
  • 2013/2014 – Hand Tracking Glove;
  • 2012/2013 – EndoGrasp;
  • 2012/2013 – ToothAdventure;
  • 2011/2012 – MedBox;
  • 2011/2012 – BeConnected;
  • 3DPectus system: automatic and personalized molding/bending of surgical prosthesis with embedded stabilizers, without radiation and virtual simulation of the postsurgical cosmetic outcome (FCT Project PTDC/SAU-BEB/103368/2008);


  • BeConnected:
    One of the twelve winners of "Action for Age 2011" contest from ExperimentaDesign 2011.
  • QUID Box:
    CES 2014 Innovations Awards: Home AV Components Finalist.
    CES 2014 Innovations Design and Engineering Award Honoree.
  • EndoGrasp:
    Winners of the 10º Poliempreende held in Guarda.
    Establishment of an IPCA SPIN-OFF.
  • XII Simpósio da APU 2012 (Associação Portuguesa de Urologia)
    First prize at symposium APU 2012.
  • SPSIM 2012:
    Honorable Mention in congress SPSIM 2012, Sociedade Portuguesa de Simulação Aplicada às Ciências da Saúde, with the presentation “Pectus excavatum postsurgical outcome based on preoperative volumetric mass spring model simulation”.
  • ImagineCup 2011:
    Winners of the national final Imagine Cup 2011, Microsoft. 
  • 3D Pectus System
    Award START 2009.
    Award SpinUM 2009, TecMinho, SpinPark, Cotec and InovCapital.

Selected Papers

  • J. L. M. Vilaça, A. C. M. Pinho, J. C. Pinto, J. F. C. Fonseca and N. R. M. Peixinho, "System for automatic and personalized modelling/bending of surgical prosthesis for correction of pectus excavatum based on pre-surgical imaging information", ed: WO Patent 2009.
  • J. L. Vilaça, T. H. Coelho, T. R. Soares, J. Fonseca, A. C. M. Pinho, P. L. Rodrigues and J. C. Pinto, "Automatic pre-bended customized prosthesis for Pectus Ecavatum minimal invasive surgery correction," Journal of pediatrics surgery 2013.
  • Sara C. Neves, ACM Pinho, Jaime C. Fonseca, Nuno F. Rodrigues, Tiago Henriques Coelho, Jorge Correia-Pinto, João L. Vilaça, "Finite element analysis of pectus carinatum surgical correction via a minimally invasive approach", Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering (2013).
  • João L Vilaça, António HJ Moreira, Pedro L Rodrigues, Nuno F Rodrigues, Sandro Queirós, “Tooth Adventure - A new approach to oral health best practices awareness”, SBGames 2013.
  • J. L. Vilaça, A. H. Moreira, L. Pedro, N. Rodrigues, J. C. Fonsenca, A. Pinho and J. Correia Pinto, "Virtual Simulation of the postsurgical cosmetic outcome in patients with Pectus Excavatum," in SPIE Medical Imaging, 2011.


  • Assistant Professor at IPCA-DIGARC.
  • Director of Electronics and Computer Engineering Degrees.