Up until now there has been no available treatment for diseases causing the permanent impairment of retinal photoreceptors. Currently the development of the retinal prostheses is the earliest to promise a result that can be implemented in the clinical treatment of these patients. Implants with different operating principles and in various stages of progress are presented in details, highlighting the characteristics, as well as the Hungarian aspects of the development. This survey intends to provide an overview on retinal prostheses, implantable in case of degenerative diseases of the retina, by reviewing and assessing the papers published in relevant journals and based on personal experience. Developments in microelectronics in recent years made it possible and proved to be feasible to replace the degenerated elements in the retina with electrical stimulation. Multiple comparable approaches are running simultaneously. Two types of these implants are directly stimulating the remaining living cells in the retina. Hitherto the finest resolution has been achieved with the subretinal implants. Although the epiretinal implant offer lower resolution, but requires shorter surgery for implantation. Retinal implants in certain retinal diseases are proved to be capable of generating vision-like experiences. A number of types of retinal implants can be expected to appear in clinical practice a few years after the successful conclusion of clinical trials.
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