The primary ingredients of Woulgan Bioactive Beta-Glucan Gel have typical gel qualities, which provide a moist wound-healing environment, rehydrates necrotic tissue and aids in autolytic debridement. The active ingredient is soluble beta-glucan (SBG). SBG has the ability to stimulate the immune system and activate white blood cells, in particular macrophages[1]. Macrophages are key players in wound healing, providing signal molecules important for healing and orchestrating the wound-healing process[2]. Macrophages boost host defences, promote and resolve inflammation, remove dead cells, and support cell proliferation and tissue restoration after a wound occurs[3]. Across the phases of wound healing, the presence of active macrophages is essential (Table 1).

Table 1. The role of macrophages in the different wound-healing phases
Phase Cells involved Function and activity
Haemostasis Platelets Clotting
Inflammation Macrophages

Tissue macrophages

  • alarms and attracts neutrophils to wound bed
  • phagocytise debris
  • produce cytokines and growth factors
Proliferation Macrophages


  • produce signal molecules for angiogenesis
  • activate fibroblasts to collagen production
  • attract and activate myofibroblasts for wound contraction
  • produce growth factors for cell proliferation
Remodelling Fibroblasts
Fibrocytes are “clones” of macrophages and fibroblasts, aiding collagen-tissue modulation

SBG is the ancillary active ingredient in Woulgan, which has positive effects on angiogenesis, cell proliferation and wound contraction throughout the course of treatment, until complete closure of the wound is achieved. The positive effects of SBG in treatment of diabetic foot ulcers have been studied and showed a statistically significant positive effect of SBG in complete wound healing at week 8 compared to control[4].

Furthermore, the mode of action of SBG in Woulgan has been investigated in several diabetic mouse models in which overall healing, angiogenesis, cell proliferation and wound contraction outcomes were studied. In these studies, Woulgan was compared to placebo. SBG had positive effects on all the studied parameters and significantly outperformed existing products in this mouse model. The enhanced cell proliferation and angiogenesis may be explained by activation of macrophages by SBG stimulation.

  1. Raa, J. Immune modulation by non-digestible and non-absorbable beta-1,3/1,6-glucan. Microbial Ecology In Health And Disease, 26. 2015 doi:
  2. Brancato SK, Albina JE. Wound macrophages as key regulators of repair origin, phenotype, and function. Am J Pathol. 2011;178(1):19–25.
  3. Koh TJ, DiPietro LA. Inflammation and wound healing: the role of the macrophage. Expert Rev Mol Med. 2011;13:e23.
  4. Zykova SN, Balandina KA, Vorokhobina NV, et al. Macrophage stimulating agent soluble yeast b-1,3/1,6-glucan as a topical treatment of diabetic foot and leg ulcers: A randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled phase II study. J Diabetes Investig. 2014;5(4):392–399.