Gold nanoparticles functionalized with biologically compatible layers may achieve stable drug release while avoiding adverse effects in cancer treatment. We study cisplatin and paclitaxel release from gold cores functionalized with hexadecanethiol (TL) and phosphatidylcholine (PC) to form two-layer nanoparticles, or TL, PC, and high density lipoprotein (HDL) to form three-layer nanoparticles. Drug release was monitored for 14 days to assess long term effects of the core surface modifications on release kinetics. Release profiles were fitted to previously developed kinetic models to differentiate possible release mechanisms. The hydrophilic drug (cisplatin) showed an initial (5-h) burst, followed by a steady release over 14 days. The hydrophobic drug (paclitaxel) showed a steady release over the same time period. Two layer nanoparticles released 64.0±2.5% of cisplatin and 22.3±1.5% of paclitaxel, while three layer nanoparticles released the entire encapsulated drug. The Korsmeyer-Peppas model best described each release scenario, while the simplified Higuchi model also adequately described paclitaxel release from the two layer formulation. We conclude that functionalization of gold nanoparticles with a combination of TL and PC may help to modulate both hydrophilic and hydrophobic drug release kinetics, while the addition of HDL may enhance long term release of hydrophobic drug.