We describe devices in which optics and fluidics are used synergistically to synthesize novel functionalities. Fluidic replacement or modification leads to reconfigurable optical systems, whereas the implementation of optics through the microfluidic toolkit gives highly compact and integrated devices. We categorize optofluidics according to three broad categories of interactions: fluid-solid interfaces, purely fluidic interfaces and colloidal suspensions. We describe examples of optofluidic devices in each category. ©2006 Nature Publishing Group.