The nascent field of biomimetic delivery with micro- and nanoparticles (MNP) has advanced considerably in recent years. Drawing inspiration from the ways that cells communicate in the body, several different modes of “delivery” (i.e., temporospatial presentation of biological signals) have been investigated in a number of therapeutic contexts. In particular, this review focuses on (1) controlled release formulations that deliver natural soluble factors with physiologically relevant temporal context, (2) presentation of surface-bound ligands to cells, with spatial organization of ligands ranging from isotropic to dynamically anisotropic, and (3) physical properties of particles, including size, shape and mechanical stiffness, which mimic those of natural cells. Importantly, the context provided by multimodal, or multifactor delivery represents a key element of most biomimetic MNP systems, a concept illustrated by an analogy to human interpersonal communication. Regulatory implications of increasingly sophisticated and “cell-like” biomimetic MNP systems are also discussed.