In this critical review, we present an overview of the current progress in synthesis of micro and nanostructures by using microfluidics techniques. Emphasis is placed on processes that can be realized on chip, such as polymerization, precipitation, sol-gel, thermolysis and multistep processes. Continuous flow, microfluidic systems show particular promise in controlling size, shape and size distribution of synthesized micro and nanoparticles. Moreover, the use of microfluidics expands the synthesis space (e.g., temperature, pressure, reagents) to conditions not easily accessed in conventional batch procedures and thus, opens new methods for the realization of complex engineered nanostructures and new materials systems. (187 references).