João L. Vilaça

Office: 1.03


Keywords: smart interventions; personalized health and care;  biomedical imaging;  natural user interfaces; robotics; Artificial Intelligence


João L. Vilaça graduated inIndustrial 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 developof 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 coordinator of 2Ai Laboratory and, Director of Technology Department at School of Technology, Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave,Portugal.



PubMED Publications:

Oliveira B; Torres HR; Morais P; Baptista A; Fonseca J; Vilaca JL, 2022. Classification of Chronic Venous Disorders using an Ensemble Optimization of Convolutional Neural Networks.  Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2022:516-519

Torres HR; Oliveira B; Morais P; Fritze A; Rüdiger M; Fonseca JC; Vilaça JL, 2022. Realistic 3D infant head surfaces augmentation to improve AI-based diagnosis of cranial deformities.  J Biomed Inform 132:104121

Morais P; Fan Y; Queirós S; D'hooge J; Lee AP; Vilaça JL, 2022. Feasibility and Accuracy of Automated Three-Dimensional Echocardiographic Analysis of Left Atrial Appendage for Transcatheter Closure.  J Am Soc Echocardiogr 35(1):124-133

Torres HR; Morais P; Oliveira B; Birdir C; Rüdiger M; Fonseca JC; Vilaça JL, 2022. A review of image processing methods for fetal head and brain analysis in ultrasound images.  Comput Methods Programs Biomed 215:106629

Gharleghi R; Adikari D; Ellenberger K; Ooi SY; Ellis C; Chen CM; Gao R; He Y; Hussain R; Lee CY; Li J; Ma J; Nie Z; Oliveira B; Qi Y; Skandarani Y; Vilaça JL; Wang X; Yang S; Sowmya A; Beier S, 2022. Automated segmentation of normal and diseased coronary arteries - The ASOCA challenge.  Comput Med Imaging Graph 97:102049

Morais P; Nelles D; Vij V; Al-Kassou B; Weber M; Nickenig G; Schrickel JW; Vilaça JL; Sedaghat A, 2022. Assessment of LAA Strain and Thrombus Mobility and Its Impact on Thrombus Resolution-Added-Value of a Novel Echocardiographic Thrombus Tracking Method.  Cardiovasc Eng Technol.

Torres HR; Morais P; Fritze A; Burkhardt W; Kaufmann M; Oliveira B; Veloso F; Hahn G; Rüdiger M; Fonseca JC; Vilaça JL, 2022. Anthropometric Landmarking for Diagnosis of Cranial Deformities: Validation of an Automatic Approach and Comparison with Intra- and Interobserver Variability.  Ann Biomed Eng 50(9):1022-1037

Veloso F; Miranda D; Morais P; Torres HR; Oliveira B; Correia-Pinto J; Pinho ACM; Vilaça JL, 2022. Study of the compression behavior of functionally graded lattice for customized cranial remodeling orthosis.  J Mech Behav Biomed Mater 130:105191

Torres HR; Morais P; Fritze A; Oliveira B; Veloso F; Rudiger M; Fonseca JC; Vilaca JL, 2022. 3D Facial Landmark Localization for cephalometric analysis.  Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2022:1016-1019

Ferreira MR; Torres HR; Oliveira B; Gomes-Fonseca J; Morais P; Novais P; Vilaca JL, 2022. Comparative Analysis of Current Deep Learning Networks for Breast Lesion Segmentation in Ultrasound Images.  Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2022:3878-3881

Real A; Morais P; Barbosa LCN; Gomes-Fonseca J; Oliveira B; Moreira AHJ; Vilaca JL, 2022. A sensorized needle guide for ultrasound assisted breast biopsy.  Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2022:865-868

Silva B; Oliveira B; Morais P; Buschle LR; Correia-Pinto J; Lima E; Vilaca JL, 2022. Analysis of Current Deep Learning Networks for Semantic Segmentation of Anatomical Structures in Laparoscopic Surgery.  Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2022:3502-3505

Costa JN; Gomes-Fonseca J; Valente S; Ferreira L; Oliveira B; Torres HR; Morais P; Alves V; Vilaca JL, 2022. Ultrasound training simulator using augmented reality glasses: an accuracy and precision assessment study.  Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2022:4461-4464

Valente S; Morais P; Torres HR; Oliveira B; Gomes-Fonseca J; Buschle LR; Fritz A; Correia-Pinto J; Lima E; Vilaca JL, 2022. A deep learning method for kidney segmentation in 2D ultrasound images.  Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2022:3911-3914

Ribeiro RF; Gomes-Fonseca J; Torres HR; Oliveira B; Vilhena E; Morais P; Vilaca JL, 2022. Deep learning methods for lesion detection on mammography images: a comparative analysis.  Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2022:3526-3529

Torres HR; Queiros S; Morais P; Oliveira B; Gomes-Fonseca J; Mota P; Lima E; D'Hooge J; Fonseca JC; Vilaca JL, 2021. Kidney Segmentation in 3-D Ultrasound Images Using a Fast Phase-Based Approach.  IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control 68(5):1521-1531

Torres HR; Morais P; Fritze A; Oliveira B; Veloso F; Rudiger M; Fonseca JC; Vilaca JL, 2021. Anthropometric Landmark Detection in 3D Head Surfaces Using a Deep Learning Approach.  IEEE J Biomed Health Inform 25(7):2643-2654

Gomes-Fonseca J; Veloso F; Queirós S; Morais P; Pinho ACM; Fonseca JC; Correia-Pinto J; Lima E; Vilaça JL, 2020. Technical Note: Assessment of electromagnetic tracking systems in a surgical environment using ultrasonography and ureteroscopy instruments for percutaneous renal access.  Med Phys 47(1):19-26

Morais P; Vilaca JL; Queiros S; De Meester P; Budts W; Tavares JMRS; D'Hooge J, 2019. Semiautomatic Estimation of Device Size for Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion in 3-D TEE Images.  IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control 66(5):922-929

Queirós S; Morais P; Fehske W; Papachristidis A; Voigt JU; Fonseca JC; D'hooge J; Vilaça JL, 2019. Assessment of aortic valve tract dynamics using automatic tracking of 3D transesophageal echocardiographic images.  Int J Cardiovasc Imaging 35(5):881-895

Gomes-Fonseca J; Queirós S; Morais P; Pinho ACM; Fonseca JC; Correia-Pinto J; Lima E; Vilaça JL, 2019. Surface-based registration between CT and US for image-guided percutaneous renal access - A feasibility study.  Med Phys 46(3):1115-1126

Queirós S; Morais P; Dubois C; Voigt JU; Fehske W; Kuhn A; Achenbach T; Fonseca JC; Vilaça JL; D'hooge J, 2018. Validation of a Novel Software Tool for Automatic Aortic Annular Sizing in Three-Dimensional Transesophageal Echocardiographic Images.  J Am Soc Echocardiogr 31(4):515-525.e5

Oliveira B; Queirós S; Morais P; Torres HR; Gomes-Fonseca J; Fonseca JC; Vilaça JL, 2018. A novel multi-atlas strategy with dense deformation field reconstruction for abdominal and thoracic multi-organ segmentation from computed tomography.  Med Image Anal 45:108-120

Torres HR; Queirós S; Morais P; Oliveira B; Fonseca JC; Vilaça JL, 2018. Kidney segmentation in ultrasound, magnetic resonance and computed tomography images: A systematic review.  Comput Methods Programs Biomed 157:49-67

Morais P; Vilaça JL; Queirós S; Marchi A; Bourier F; Deisenhofer I; D'hooge J; Tavares JMRS, 2018. Automated segmentation of the atrial region and fossa ovalis towards computer-aided planning of inter-atrial wall interventions.  Comput Methods Programs Biomed 161:73-84

Queiros S; Morais P; Barbosa D; Fonseca JC; Vilaca JL; D'Hooge J, 2018. MITT: Medical Image Tracking Toolbox.  IEEE Trans Med Imaging 37(11):2547-2557

Morais P; Queiros S; Meester P; Budts W; Vilaca JL; Tavares JMRS; D'Hooge J, 2018. Fast Segmentation of the Left Atrial Appendage in 3-D Transesophageal Echocardiographic Images.  IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control 65(12):2332-2342

Morais P; Tavares JMRS; Queirós S; Veloso F; D'hooge J; Vilaça JL, 2017. Development of a patient-specific atrial phantom model for planning and training of inter-atrial interventions.  Med Phys 44(11):5638-5649

Morais P; Queirós S; Heyde B; Engvall J; 'hooge JD; Vilaça JL, 2017. Fully automatic left ventricular myocardial strain estimation in 2D short-axis tagged magnetic resonance imaging.  Phys Med Biol 62(17):6899-6919

Morais P; Vilaça JL; Queirós S; Bourier F; Deisenhofer I; Tavares JMRS; D'hooge J, 2017. A competitive strategy for atrial and aortic tract segmentation based on deformable models.  Med Image Anal 42:102-116

Lima E; Rodrigues PL; Mota P; Carvalho N; Dias E; Correia-Pinto J; Autorino R; Vilaça JL, 2017. Ureteroscopy-assisted Percutaneous Kidney Access Made Easy: First Clinical Experience with a Novel Navigation System Using Electromagnetic Guidance (IDEAL Stage 1).  Eur Urol 72(4):610-616

Queirós S; Vilaça JL; Morais P; Fonseca JC; D'hooge J; Barbosa D, 2017. Fast left ventricle tracking using localized anatomical affine optical flow.  Int J Numer Method Biomed Eng 33.

Queiros S; Papachristidis A; Morais P; Theodoropoulos KC; Fonseca JC; Monaghan MJ; Vilaca JL; Dhooge J, 2017. Fully Automatic 3-D-TEE Segmentation for the Planning of Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation.  IEEE Trans Biomed Eng 64(8):1711-1720

Gomes-Fonseca J; Vilaça JL; Henriques-Coelho T; Direito-Santos B; Pinho ACM; Fonseca JC; Correia-Pinto J, 2017. A new methodology for assessment of pectus excavatum correction after bar removal in Nuss procedure: Preliminary study.  J Pediatr Surg 52(7):1089-1097

Queirós S; Dubois C; Morais P; Adriaenssens T; Fonseca JC; Vilaça JL; D'hooge J, 2017. Automatic 3D aortic annulus sizing by computed tomography in the planning of transcatheter aortic valve implantation.  J Cardiovasc Comput Tomogr 11(1):25-32

Castro APG; Pacheco JD; Lourenço C; Queirós S; Moreira AHJ; Rodrigues NF; Vilaça JL, 2017. Evaluation of spinal posture using Microsoft Kinect™: A preliminary case-study with 98 volunteers.  Porto Biomed J 2(1):18-22

Leite M; Carvalho AF; Costa P; Pereira R; Moreira A; Rodrigues N; Laureano S; Correia-Pinto J; Vilaça JL; Leão P, 2016. Assessment of Laparoscopic Skills Performance: 2D Versus 3D Vision and Classic Instrument Versus New Hand-Held Robotic Device for Laparoscopy.  Surg Innov 23(1):52-61

Morais P; Queirós S; Ferreira A; Rodrigues NF; Baptista MJ; D'hooge J; Vilaça JL; Barbosa D, 2016. Dense motion field estimation from myocardial boundary displacements.  Int J Numer Method Biomed Eng 32.

Queirós S; Barbosa D; Engvall J; Ebbers T; Nagel E; Sarvari SI; Claus P; Fonseca JC; Vilaça JL; D'hooge J, 2016. Multi-centre validation of an automatic algorithm for fast 4D myocardial segmentation in cine CMR datasets.  Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging 17(10):1118-27

Queiros S; Papachristidis A; Barbosa D; Theodoropoulos KC; Fonseca JC; Monaghan MJ; Vilaca JL; D'hooge J, 2016. Aortic Valve Tract Segmentation From 3D-TEE Using Shape-Based B-Spline Explicit Active Surfaces.  IEEE Trans Med Imaging 35(9):2015-2025

Morais-Santos F; Granja S; Miranda-Gonçalves V; Moreira AH; Queirós S; Vilaça JL; Schmitt FC; Longatto-Filho A; Paredes J; Baltazar F; Pinheiro C, 2015. Targeting lactate transport suppresses in vivo breast tumour growth.  Oncotarget 6(22):19177-89

Moreira AH; Rodrigues NF; Pinho AC; Fonseca JC; Vilaça JL, 2015. Accuracy Comparison of Implant Impression Techniques: A Systematic Review.  Clin Implant Dent Relat Res 17 Suppl 2:e751-64

Neves SC; Pinho AC; Fonseca JC; Rodrigues NF; Henriques-Coelho T; Correia-Pinto J; Vilaça JL, 2015. Finite element analysis of pectus carinatum surgical correction via a minimally invasive approach.  Comput Methods Biomech Biomed Engin 18(7):711-20

Rodrigues PL; Rodrigues NF; Duque D; Granja S; Correia-Pinto J; Vilaça JL, 2014. Automated image analysis of lung branching morphogenesis from microscopic images of fetal rat explants.  Comput Math Methods Med 2014:820214

Rodrigues PL; Rodrigues NF; Pinho AC; Fonseca JC; Correia-Pinto J; Vilaça JL, 2014. Automatic modeling of pectus excavatum corrective prosthesis using artificial neural networks.  Med Eng Phys 36(10):1338-45

Queirós S; Barbosa D; Heyde B; Morais P; Vilaça JL; Friboulet D; Bernard O; D'hooge J, 2014. Fast automatic myocardial segmentation in 4D cine CMR datasets.  Med Image Anal 18(7):1115-31

Vilaça JL; Rodrigues PL; Soares TR; Fonseca JC; Pinho AC; Henriques-Coelho T; Correia-Pinto J, 2014. Automatic prebent customized prosthesis for pectus excavatum minimally invasive surgery correction.  Surg Innov 21(3):290-6

Rodrigues PL; Direito-Santos B; Moreira AH; Fonseca JC; Pinho AC; Rodrigues NF; Henriques-Coelho T; Correia-Pinto J; Vilaça JL, 2013. Variations of the soft tissue thicknesses external to the ribs in pectus excavatum patients.  J Pediatr Surg 48(9):1878-86

Rodrigues PL; Vilaça JL; Oliveira C; Cicione A; Rassweiler J; Fonseca J; Rodrigues NF; Correia-Pinto J; Lima E, 2013. Collecting system percutaneous access using real-time tracking sensors: first pig model in vivo experience.  J Urol 190(5):1932-7

Rodrigues PL; Rodrigues NF; Fonseca J; Lima E; Vilaça JL, 2013. Kidney targeting and puncturing during percutaneous nephrolithotomy: recent advances and future perspectives.  J Endourol 27(7):826-34

Teixeira-Castro A; Ailion M; Jalles A; Brignull HR; Vilaça JL; Dias N; Rodrigues P; Oliveira JF; Neves-Carvalho A; Morimoto RI; Maciel P, 2011. Neuron-specific proteotoxicity of mutant ataxin-3 in C. elegans: rescue by the DAF-16 and HSF-1 pathways.  Hum Mol Genet 20(15):2996-3009

Publication list retrieved from NCBI using ImpactPubs


Ongoing Projects

Artificial Intelligence Collaborative Robot for Patient-specific Laser Treatment of Vascular Lesions –

SmartHealth – Artificial Intelligence for lifelong Personalized Patient Care –

OncoNavigator – Intelligent System for Personalized Navigation and Mapping of Oncological Interventions –

InjectID4.0 –

SmartRobotics for laparoscopy

Previous projects: 

PhD Students

  1. Nuno Rodrigues – Surgical Process Modelling and Context Awareness for Smart Surgical Assistance Systems in Laparoscopic Prostatectomy (start: 2021)
  2. Simão Valente – A new smart and intuitive interface for Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy guidance (start: 2021)
  3. Bruno Silva – Semantic Segmentation of Tissues and Anatomical Structures of 3D Laparoscopic Videos Using Deep Learning (start: 2021)
  4. Marcos Rodriguez – Robotic Smart Assistants for Laparoscopic Robotic Surgery: Speech Recognition and Tool Segmentation (start: 2021)
  5. Isaias Barbosa – Sistema de alerta inteligente para doentes ostomizados (start: 2020)
  6. Fernando Veloso – Desenvolvimento de ortótese craniana personalizada para a correção da plagiocefalia posicional SFRH/BD/131545/2017 (start: 2018)
  7. Bruno Oliveira – Artificial intelligence collaborative robot for patient-specific laser treatment of vascular lesions SFRH/BD/136721/2018 (start: 2019)
  8. Helena Torres – Cranial orthosis modeling and treatment outcome prediction framework for infants with deformational plagiocephaly SFRH/BD/136670/2018 (start: 2019)
  9. Pedro Rodrigues (2017) – Sistema de navegação electromagnético para radiologia intervencionista, focada em intervenções percutâneas minimamente invasivas SFRH/BD/74276/2010
  10. António Moreira (2017) – Sistema de modelação personalizada de próteses dentárias baseada em sistemas de posicionamento e orientação de elevada precisão SFRH/BD/68270/2010
  11. Sandro Queirós (2018) – Fast fully automatic myocardium segmentation in 4D cine cardiac Magnetic Resonance datasets SFRH/BD/93443/2013
  12. Pedro Morais (2019) – Guidanc e of transseptal punctures for left heart interventions using personalized biomechamical models and volumetric ultrasound imaging SFRH/BD/95438/2013
  13. João Fonseca (2021) – Image-based framework for radiation-free percutaneous renal access in minimally invasive interventions PDE/BDE/113597/2015