This paper presents a method for utilizing three-dimensional microfluidic channels fully to realize multiple functions in a single device. The final device structure was achieved by combining three independent modules that consisted of horizontal and vertical channels. The device allowed for the one-step generation of water-in-oil-in-water droplets without the need for partial treatment of the polydimethylsiloxane channel surface using separate modules for generating water-in-oil droplets on the horizontal plane and oil-in-water droplets on the vertical plane. The second vertically structured module provided an efficient flow for the generation of highly wettable liquid droplets, and tuning of the first horizontally structured module enabled different modes of inner-core encapsulation within the oil shell. The successful integration of the vertical and horizontal channels for core-shell droplet generation and the chemical synthesis of a metal complex within the droplets were evaluated. The proposed approach of integrating independent modules will expand and enhance the functions of microfluidic platforms.
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