In this work, we describe a novel pulse mode shear horizontal-surface acoustic wave (SH-SAW) polymer coated biosensor that monitors rapid changes in both amplitude and phase. The SH-SAW sensors were fabricated on 36degrees rotated Y-cut X propagating lithium tantalate (36 YX.LT). The sensitivity of the device to both mass loading and visco-elastic effects may be increased by using a thin guiding layer of cross-linked polymer. Two acoustic modes are excited by the electrodes in this crystalline direction. Metallisation of the propagation path of the 36 YX.LT devices allows the two modes to be discriminated. Successive polymer coatings resulted in the observation of resonant conditions in both modes as the layer thickness was increased. Using the 36 YX.LT devices, we have investigated the application of a novel pulse mode system by sensing a sequence of deposition and removal of a biological layer consisting of vesicles of the phospholipid POPC. A continuous wave system was used to verify the accuracy of the pulse mode system by sensing a series of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) solutions. The data clearly demonstrates the ability of the 36 YX.LT pulse mode system to provide rapid measurements of both amplitude and phase for biosensing applications.