The objectives of this work were (i) to prepare physically stable cationic microparticles and (ii) to study the impact of the surface properties on microparticle phagocytosis and the phenotype of dendritic cells (DC). Protein loaded biodegradable microparticles from poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) [PLGA] were produced in a micromixer-based w/o/w solvent evaporation procedure. Anionic particles were obtained by using polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) as stabilizing agent; for cationic surfaces cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) and chitosan/PVA or DEAE-dextran/PVA blends were evaluated. In phagocytosis studies human monocytes and monocyte-derived DC were incubated with microparticles and analysed by flow cytometry. While CTAB modified microparticles lost their positive charge and aggregated due to CTAB desorption from the particle surface, the modification with chitosan and DEAE-dextran resulted in stable microparticles without cell toxicity. Due to a very low endotoxin content, phagocytosis of anionic and cationic microparticles did not induce an upregulation of maturation-associated surface markers on DC. DEAE-dextran modified microparticles showed an enhanced model protein delivery into phagocytic cells. Overall, PLGA microparticles are suitable vehicles for protein delivery to DC, which might be used for DC-based cell therapies.