Mechanical force is a formidable, and relatively unexplored, source of energy that, with its ability to distort, bend and stretch chemical bonds, is unique in the way it activates chemical reactions. The precise control of this force could revolutionise how we build and rearrange molecular structures and change the way we think about chemical transformations. Although grinding is a powerful method to transmit mechanical energy and promote chemical reaction in the solid state, the energy is transmitted in non-specific and non-directional ways. More precise control can be achieved when the chemical entity that is the subject of the mechanical force (a “mechanophore”) is embedded within a polymeric backbone. Indeed, pulling both ends of a macromolecule apart creates highly directional strain with its highest intensity in the middle of the chain. Our research aims at controlling mechanical force at the molecular level for application in synthetic chemistry, materials and biology. This approach relies on a varied set of skills: synthetic organic and polymer chemistry, supramolecular chemistry and molecular modeling.