Associate Professor Allan Coombes
Associate Professor Allan Coombes

Associate Professor

Room 7050, Level 7, Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence
Phone:  +61 7-334-61703; Fax: +61 7-334-61999

Allan Coombes is an Associate Professor at the School of Pharmacy, after taking up the position in 2007. Allan obtained his first degree in Metallurgy and Materials Science from Nottingham University and his PhD in Polymer Physics from Bristol University. Post-doctoral research followed in the area of bioengineering at University College London, bone substitution at the University of Texas in San Antonio, nano and microparticle drug carriers and vaccine formulation at the School of Pharmacy, Nottingham University.

A short spell at Quadrant Healthcare working on controlled protein delivery was followed by a research fellowship in tissue engineering at Nottingham University. Assoc. Professor Coombes was appointed Lecturer in Pharmaceutics at Aston University, Birmingham, UK in 1998, Senior lecturer in Pharmaceutics at Sydney University in 2003 and Professor in Pharmaceutics at Kingston University London’s new School of Pharmacy in 2005. 

In-depth teaching experience in pharmaceutical formulation and physicochemical characterisation is complemented by an extensive publication record in the fields of advanced drug delivery, vaccine formulation, biomaterials and tissue engineering. He has attracted/helped attract a total of $1.7 million research funding over the last 10 years, is an inventor on 10 patent applications/pending and has supervised/co-supervised 7 PhD students to completion.

Research Interests

Allan's current research focuses on controlling drug delivery from porous polymer matrices:

  1. for combatting bacterial and viral infection and
  2. for promoting tissue repair

Advanced Drug Delivery:

  • Microencapsulation and nanotechnology in drug delivery and targeting.
  • Microporous polymer matrices as insertable and implantable drug delivery devices.

Vaccine formulation

  • Development of micro and nanoparticulate adjuvants.

Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering:

  • Design and production of biomimetic materials for regenerative medicine
  • Micro/macroporous scaffolds for guiding tissue growth
  • Bioactive fibres for nerve repair

Selected Publications

Assoc. Professor Coombes regularly reviews submitted manuscripts for a number of scientific journals and is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Microencapsulation and the Journal of Biomaterials, Polymer Edition.

Advanced Drug Delivery


  • Wang Y, Wertheim D, Jones A, Chang H-I, Coombes AGA. Micro-CT analysis of matrix-type drug delivery devices and correlation with protein release behaviour. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 99, 2854-2862 (2010).
  • Wang Y, Chang H-I, Wertheim DF, Jones AS, Jackson C, Coombes AGA. Characterisation of the macroporosity of polycaprolactone-based biocomposites and release kinetics for drug delivery. Biomaterials. 28, 4619-4627 (2007).
  • Chang H-I, Perrie Y, Coombes AGA. Delivery of the antibiotic gentamicin sulphate from precipitation cast matrices of polycaprolactone. J. Controlled Release. 110, 414-421 (2006).
  • Turner P, Coombes AGA, Al-Rubeai M. Measuring the heterogeneity of protein loading in PLG microspheres using flow cytometry. J Controlled Release. 96, 193-205 (2004).



Vaccine Formulation


  • Jabbal-Gill, I., Wu Lin, Jenkins, P., Watts, P., Jimenez, M., Illum, L., Davis, S.S., Wood, J.M., Major, D., Xiongwei Li, Lavelle, E.C., Coombes, A.G.A. Potential of polymeric lamellar substrate particles (PLSP) as adjuvants for vaccines. Vaccine. 18, 238-250 (2000).
  •  Saleem IY, Vordermeier M, Barralet JE,  Coombes AGA. Improving peptide-based assays to differentiate between vaccination and m.bovis infection in cattle using nanoparticle carriers for adsorbed antigens.  J. Control. Release. 102/3, 551-561 (2005).
  • Yeh, M-K, Coombes, AGA, Chen, J-L, Chiang, C-H. Japanese Encephalitis Virus vaccine formulations using PLA lamellar and PLG microparticles.J. Microencapsulation, 19, 671-682 (2002).
  • Moynihan J, Blair J, Coombes A, D’Mello F, Howard C.R. Enhanced immunogenicity of a Hepatitis B virus (HBV) peptide vaccine using oligosaccharide ester derivative (OED) microparticles. Vaccine. 20, 1870-1876 (2002).

Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering




  • Wang Y, Lam J, Zhang B, Tomlins P, Li X, Alpar O, Wertheim D, Jones A, Coombes AGA. Biomechanical characterisation of a micro/macroporous polycaprolactone tissue integrating vascular graft. Cardiovascular Engineering and Technology, 1(3), 202-215 (2010).
  • Williamson MR, Woollard KJ, Griffiths HR, Coombes AGA. Gravity spun polycaprolactone fibres for applications in vascular tissue engineering. Proliferation and function of human vascular endothelial cells. Tissue Engineering. 12, 45-51 (2006).
  • Williamson MR, Adams EF, Coombes AGA. Gravity spun polycaprolactone fibres for soft tissue engineering: interaction with fibroblasts and myoblasts in cell culture. Biomaterials. 27, 1019-1026 (2006).
  • Dai, N-T, Williamson, MR, Khammo, N, Adams, EF, Coombes, AGA. Composite cell support membranes based on collagen and polycaprolactone for tissue engineering of skin. Biomaterials. Vol 25/18, 4263-4271 (2004).


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