Current efforts to improve the effectiveness of microparticle vaccines include incorporating biomimetic features into the particles. Many pathogens use surface molecules to target specific cell types in the gut for host invasion. This observation has inspired efforts to chemically conjugate cell-type targeting ligands to the surfaces of microparticles in order to increase the efficiency of uptake, and therefore the effectiveness, of orally administered microparticles. Bio-mimicry is not limited to the exterior surface of the microparticles. Anti-idiotypic antibodies, cytokines or other biological modifiers can be encapsulated for delivery to sites of interest as vaccines or other therapeutics. Direct mucosal delivery of microparticle vaccines or immunomodulatory agents may profoundly enhance mucosal and systemic immune responses compared to other delivery routes.