I am not aware of any scholarly biographies of the MA but see here for a general overview from R' Zvi Hirsch Michelson . Note especially his comments on the MA's reverent attitude towards SA and Rema.
I also noticed that in MA 284:7 he writes:
..כי בכל העולם יש יהודים - ע' מאור עינים
The relevant quote is in the Meor Einayim (de Rossi) in Imrei Binah 3:55. Not a source that one usually associates with the MA.
 I don't own part 3 of C. Tchernowitz's Toledot HaPosekim but I would imagine he has useful information. (NB - It is surprising that Tchernowitz doesn't discuss the Mishna Berurah, although he does discuss the Aruch HaShulchan. TP was reviewed by J Katz in KS.)