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any one of numerous organic compounds containing two heterocyclic radicals connected by a chain consisting of an odd number of methine groups:

where Y and Y’ are O, S, Se, CR2, or some other element or radical, R and R’ are H or van alkyl, X is Cl, Br, I, or some other anion, and n = 0–5.

The general name for this class of compounds is derived from the first compound of the class, bright blue cyanin, or cyanine blue (from the Greek kyanos, “blue”). Depending on the number of methine groups in the chain, a distinction is made between simple cyanines (monomethines), in which n = 0, carbocyanines (trimethines), in which n = 1, dicarbocyanines (pentamethines), in which n = 2, and so forth. The basic method for the synthesis of cyanines involves the condensation of quaternary salts of heterocyclic compounds. Cyanines are polymethine dyes.

References in periodicals archive ?
Because Cy5-labeled goat antihuman IgG detection antibodies bind both competitor and autoantibodies, both Cy3 and Cy5 fluorescence signals are generated on the antihuman IgG spots.
The Kreatech/GE Healthcare partnership grants Kreatech global rights for the use of Cy3 and Cy5 dyes with ULS in fluorescent microarray applications within the life science research markets.
Cy3 and Cy5 are trademarks of Amersham Biosciences.
Bringing together Cy3 and Cy5 dyes in the same CyDNA with high density results in a photo-switch with new properties.
After enzymatic reporting (ApoER2 splice variants) or allele-specific reporter hybridization (ApoE gene expression), the Cy3 and Cy5 fluorescent signals were imaged.
Heterozygous amplicons exhibited both Cy3 and Cy5 signals at equivalent intensities, identifying the presence of both wild-type and mutant alleles.
This is based on a fluorescence intensity ratio [greater than or equal to]1:5 between Cy3 and Cy5 dye-labeled reporters.