In 2010 there has again been an increase in the number of papers published involving piezoelectric acoustic sensors, or quartz crystal microbalances (QCM), when compared to the last period reviewed 2006-2009. The average number of QCM publications per annum was 124 in the period 2001-2005, 223 in the period 2006-9, and 273 in 2010. There are trends towards increasing use of QCM in the study of protein adsorption to surfaces (93% increase), homeostasis (67% increase), protein-protein interactions (40% increase), and carbohydrates (43% increase). New commercial systems have been released that are driving the uptake of the technology for characterisation of binding specificities, affinities, kinetics and conformational changes associated with a molecular recognition event. This article highlights theoretical and practical aspects of the principals that underpin acoustic analysis, then reviews exemplary papers in key application areas involving small molecular weight ligands, carbohydrates, proteins, nucleic acids, viruses, bacteria, cells, and membrane interfaces.