Background: In age related macular degeneration and inherited dystrophies, preservation of retinal ganglion cells has been demonstrated. This finding has led to the development of various models of subretinal or epiretinal implant in order to restore vision. This study addresses the development of a polyimide subretinal electrode platform in the dystrophic P23H rat in vivo. Methods: A technique was developed for implanting a subretinal electrode into the subretinal space and stabilising the distal extremity of the cabling on the rat cranium in order to allow future electrical stimulations of the retina. Results: In vivo imaging of the retina with the scanning laser ophthalmoscope demonstrated reabsorption of the surgically induced retinal detachment and the absence of major tissue reactions. These in vivo observations were confirmed by retinal histology. The extraocular fixation system on the rat cranium was effective in stabilising the distal connector for in vivo stimulation. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that a retinal implant can be introduced into the subretinal space of a dystrophic rat with a stable external connection for repeatable electrical measurements and stimulation. This in vivo model should therefore allow us to evaluate the safety and efficacy of electrical stimulations on dystrophic retina.