Advanced Course on Fiber-based Materials and Products

João Paulo Vilas-Boas

João Paulo Vilas-Boas

New materials for sports: design, development and performance

LABIOMEP – Porto Biomechanics Laboratory (Portugal)


J. Paulo Vilas-Boas was born in 1960, and graduated in Physical Education in 1983. In 1993 was awarded with a PhD in Biomechanics. He is Full Professor of Biomechanics at the University of Porto, Faculty of Sport, Portugal, and Director of the Porto Biomechanics Laboratory (LABIOMEP, University of Porto). Currently teaches Biomechanics at different Universities in Portugal and abroad. He is also a member of three PhD programs’ Scientific Commissions at the University of Porto (Sport Sciences, Physiotherapy, and Occupational Health and Safety). Once he was a swimming coach for more than 20 years, with two Olympic participations, Professor Vilas-Boas also teaches Swimming Science and Coaching. Being one of the members of the Steering Group Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming (BMS) of the World Commission for Science and Sport (ICSSPE, UNESCO), he is particularly focused at swimming Biophysical and Biomechanical research. Up to now, Vilas-Boas published more than 150 indexed published papers (h=19), promoted more than 20 PhD students, and authored, co-authored or edited 10 books of national and international circulation. He chaired both BMS2006 (Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming) and ISBS2011 (International Society of Biomechanics in Sports) world congresses in Porto.


New “materials” are spreading in sport’s world. This concept shouldn’t be limited to the materials themselves, but also to the artefacts and gadgets, some of them incorporating new materials, which are permanently innovating daily sports practice, both during training and competition.
Mechanics and Biomechanics in sports are fundamental “scientific twins”, both are conceptual and technological tolls to allow the better understanding of these “materials’ role” in sports practice, with particular emphasis on performance enhancement, training potentiation and injuries’ prevention.
During this conference, biomechanics will be introduced and examples of assessment of new “materials’ potential” in sports will be provided, particularly based on the activity of the Porto Biomechanics Laboratory (LABIOMEP, University of Porto, Portugal). Measurement of movement, forces, pressure, muscle architecture and activity, and body temperature will be addressed, in association with energy expenditure, energy cost and efficiency.
Specific sport’s garments, compressive or not – swimsuits, for example –, shoes, orthoses, prostheses, kayaks, helmets, tennis rackets, roller hockey sticks, IMUs, textile EMG and ECG electrodes and other wearable devices for activity assessment and feedback will be considered, and related research will be presented.