Microfluidics, especially droplet microfluidics, attracts more and more researchers from diverse fields, because it requires fewer materials and less time, produces less waste and has the potential of highly integrated and computer-controlled reaction processes for chemistry and biology. Electrorheological fluid, especially giant electrorheological fluid (GERF), which is considered as a kind of smart material, has been applied to the microfluidic systems to achieve active and precise control of fluid by electrical signal. In this review article, we will introduce recent results of microfluidic droplet manipulation, GERF and some pertinent achievements by introducing GERF into microfluidic system: digital generation, manipulation of "smart droplets" and droplet manipulation by GERF. Once it is combined with real-time detection, integrated chip with multiple functions can be realized. © 2009 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.